Greenwood, IN – Police are crediting the legally-armed citizen who intervened and killed an active shooter inside the food court at an Indiana mall on Sunday despite the fact the shopping center was supposed to be a “gun-free zone.”
Greenwood Police Chief James Ison credited the heroism of the good Samaritan who was brave enough to intervene and potentially save countless lives when a gunman began his shooting spree at the Greenwood Park Mall on July 17, WXIN reported.
“The real hero of the day was the citizen that was lawfully carrying a firearm in the food court and was able to stop the shooter almost as soon as he began,” Chief Ison said.
Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers also lauded the armed citizen who stopped the active shooter, WXIN reported.
“Someone we are calling the ‘Good Samaritan’ was able to shoot the assailant and stop further bloodshed,” Myers said in a statement on Sunday night. “This person saved lives tonight. On behalf of the City of Greenwood, I am grateful for his quick action and heroism in this situation.”
A spokesperson for the mall said in a statement that they appreciated “heroic actions of the Good Samaritan who stopped the suspect.”
The statement did not mention that the mall was supposed to be a “gun free zone.”
Simon Properties, which owns Greenwood Park Mall, updated its code of conduct that prohibits weapons in its shopping centers in April of 2020, WXIN reported.
But in June, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita released a gun owners’ bill of rights.
Rokita’s document said that private businesses and property owners can prohibit people from carrying a weapon on their property but doing so anyway isn’t illegal.
It is generally not against the law to ignore a “no firearms” sign in Indiana, according to WXIN.
The police chief said the gunman entered the Greenwood Park Mall at about 6 p.m. with a long rifle and several magazines of ammunition, WLWT reported.
Chief Ison said the gunman – identified on Monday as 20-year-old Jonathan Sapirman – began shooting at customers in the mall’s food court.
Police said that the gunman had shot victims ranging in age from 12 to 30 years old when a good Samaritan intervened, WLWT reported.
The police chief said 22-year-old Elisjsha Dicken from Bartholomew County, who was legally carrying a firearm when the gunman’s rampage began, pulled his weapon and killed the shooter.
He said Sapirman had more than 100 rounds of ammunition on him but only had time to shoot off 24 rounds before Dicken shot him, ABC News reported.
“I am 100% certain many, many more people would’ve died last night if it was not for his heroism,” Chief Ison said. “The young man had his wits about him, acted very quickly.”
Myers agreed with the police chief’s assessment, according to ABC News.
“Our city, our community and our state is grateful for his heroism in this situation,” the mayor said. “He’s a young man processing a lot. I ask that you give him space and time to be able to process what he’s gone through last night.”
Police said Sapirman brought three guns to the mall with him but only used a Sig Sauer M400 rifle in his killing spree, ABC News reported.
He purchased that gun legally in March, according to authorities.
Police said Sapirman left another semiautomatic rifle in a bathroom in the mall where he was captured on security footage prior to the shootings, ABC News reported.
Officers also recovered a pistol from the gunman’s body after he died.
The Johnson County coroner has identified those killed in the food court rampage as 30-year-old Victor Gomez, 56-year-old Pedro Pineda, and 37-year-old Rosa Rivera de Pineda, ABC News reported.
The Pinedas were a married couple.
Sapirman also allegedly shot a 22-year-old woman in the leg and a 12-year-old girl was wounded by a ricochet fragment that struck her in the back, ABC News reported.