(CNN) — Authorities released new details of Sunday’s shooting at a shopping center in Greenwood, Indiana, including the identities of the gunman, three victims and a legally armed bystander who shot and killed the gunman.
The shooting happened at the Greenwood Park Mall around 6 p.m. Sunday. Multiple people called 911 to report an active attacker. Three people were killed and two were injured as a result of the shooting. Greenwood is about 15 miles south of Indianapolis.
The shooter was identified as 20-year-old Jonathan Douglas Sapirman, who police say prepared to shoot for just over an hour in a bathroom before walking out with a rifle, Greenwood Police Chief James Ison said.
The victims were identified as a couple from Indianapolis, Pedro Pineda, 56, and Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda, 37, and Victor Gomez, 30, also from Indianapolis.
The legally armed bystander who ended up shooting the attacker was identified as Elisjsha Dicken, 22, of Seymour, Indiana. Dicken was able to neutralize the attacker within two minutes after the gunman had already fired 24 rounds from his rifle. Dicken fired 10 shots from his Glock pistol.
“He engaged the attacker from quite a distance with a pistol, he was very skilled at it, very sensible tactically and as he moved to get closer to the suspect, he also directed people to get out behind him,” said Ison, the police chief. of Greenwood. “Many more people would have been killed last night were it not for a responsible armed citizen who acted very quickly in the first two minutes of the shooting.”
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb he tweeted on Monday that the state is grateful for the “swift and heroic actions taken by a citizen and first responders Sunday night in Greenwood, which surely prevented further loss of life and injury.”
“I stand with the community in grieving the loss of life, and my thoughts are also with the many people affected by this traumatic incident, including the innocent bystanders whose lives were changed forever,” Holcomb tweeted.
There have been more than 350 mass shootings this year in the United States, according to Gun Violence Archive. Like CNN, the file defines a mass shooting as one in which four or more people are shot, not including the shooter.
Greenwood now joins a host of others who are also dealing with the aftermath of mass shootings, including communities reeling from recent massacres at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and a 4th of July parade in Highland. Park, Ill.
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Indiana shooter had 2 guns, over 100 rounds of ammunition
Sapirman, the shooter, had two rifles, a Glock pistol and more than 100 rounds of ammunition with him at the time of the shooting, but only used an AR 15-style rifle, Isón said.
The AR 15-style rifle was legally purchased March 8 in Greenwood, the police chief said. The second rifle was purchased on March 9, 2021, at a Greenwood gun store.
Surveillance video from the mall showed Sapirman entering the mall from the food court around 5 p.m. Sunday and going directly to the restroom located in the food court where he remained for a little over an hour before emerging with a rifle, Ison said.
Sapirman first shot Gomez, then aimed his rifle at the food court, where he fatally shot the Pinedas, who were dining at the time of the shooting, Ison said.
The gunman continued to fire into the food court, hitting a 22-year-old woman in the leg. A 12-year-old girl, identified by her mother, Alison Dick, as Bella, was struck by a bullet fragment that ricocheted off a wall, Ison said.
Bella was with her grandmother and two of her sisters in the food court when they heard a loud noise, Dick said in a Facebook Live video.
“Bella and a sister ran out of the mall and my mom and another daughter ran into a shoe store and hid in the back,” Dick told CNN in a text message. As she ran, Bella felt “kind of like a stab in the back,” Dick said in the Facebook Live video.
Two minutes into the melee, the attacker confronted what police described as a “good Samaritan” who was out shopping with his girlfriend. With a Glock pistol in his possession, Dicken shot the attacker, causing him to back up into the bathroom before falling to the floor.
Dicken’s attorney, Guy A. Relford, said in a statement to CNN that his client is “a true American hero who saved countless lives during a horrific event that could have been much worse were it not for the courage, preparation and Eli’s willingness to protect others.
The Greenwood Police Department has trained for a mass shooting scenario and has conducted “multiple exercises in the mall” to prepare for active shooter situations, the police chief said.
“But I will tell you that the real hero of the day is the citizen who was legally carrying a firearm in that food court and was able to stop this gunman almost as soon as he started,” Ison said.
It is rare for an armed bystander to attack an active gunman, according to information from Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) at Texas State University.
There were at least 434 active gunman attacks in the US between 2000 and 2021, according to ALERRT data. Active attackers were defined as those in which one or more armed men killed or attempted to kill multiple unrelated people in a populated area.
Of those 434 cases of active attackers, an armed bystander shot the attacker in 22 of the incidents. In 10 of them, the “good guy” was an off-duty security guard or police officer, according to ALERRT data.
And having more than one armed person at the scene who is not a member of the police can create confusion and carry serious risks, according to a data analysis published by The New York Times. For example, an armed bystander who shot and killed an attacker in 2021 in Arvada, Colorado,the police shot and killed him because he mistook him for the attacker, the Times reported.
Indiana shooter had misdemeanors on his record, police say
Police are still investigating the gunman’s motive and questioning people who were inside the mall at the time. Police are asking all witnesses to contact authorities.
Multiple agencies responded to the scene to help, including the FBI, ATF, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department and the Department of Homeland Security, Ison said.
Police seized a backpack found at the scene and found no explosive device, Ison said.
“This tragedy strikes at the core of our community,” Greenwood Mayor Mark Meyers said in a Facebook post on Sunday. “Please offer your prayers to the victims and to our first responders.”
The suspect had several minor juvenile offenses, including a fight at school and that he was a runaway minor, but had no adult history, Ison said.
Sapirman’s family told police that he had recently resigned from a warehouse position in May, Ison said.
A SWAT team that searched Sapirman’s apartment found a laptop and a can of butane in a “high temperature” oven, Ison said Monday. The laptop was damaged.
“I don’t want to speculate what their intentions were, whether it might have been to cause a fire or damage the laptop, but we recovered the laptop and that’s going to Quantico for analysis,” Ison said.
Herbert Stapleton, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis field office, said investigators need to consult with technical experts to see what’s possible.
The FBI will also analyze the cell phone of the suspect, which was found in a toilet in the bathroom near the mall’s food court, authorities announced Monday.
“We’re working as fast as we can to try and get the phone to a point where it can be exploited, there’s no guarantee we’ll be able to recover any data, we’re just working as fast as we can to try and get it done,” Stapleton said. on Monday.