Greenwood, IN – More details have emerged about heroic good Samaritan who stopped an active shooter in the food court of the Greenwood Park Mall on Sunday.
Greenwood Police Chief James Ison said that 20-year-old Jonathan Sapirman entered the mall at about 5 p.m. on July 17 and went straight into a bathroom next to the food court where he prepared for the shooting, the New York Post reported.
Sapirman had recently quit his warehouse job and was in danger of being evicted from his home.
Sixty-two minutes after he entered the restroom, he came out shooting, the New York Post reported.
Sapirman had already shot several people when 22-year-old Elisjsha “Eli” Dicken from Bartholomew County, who was at the mall with his girlfriend, bravely intervened, WTHR reported.
Shay Goldman, 19, called her grandmother from the mall immediately after the incident and described her boyfriend’s heroics.
The grandmother told WTHR that Shay said she’d gone to the restroom and was headed back to the food court when she saw the gunman coming out of the bathroom with a rifle.
“She said she had that sick feeling like look behind her or beside her and he [the mall shooter] was walking out behind her and she said, ‘Grandma I seen a long gun’ and then all of a sudden Eli told her get down and pushed her and she said it went from there,” the grandmother recalled.
Shay told her grandmother that she hit behind a kiosk and her boyfriend stopped the suspect with seconds.
Chief Ison said the 22-year-old good Samaritan pulled out his legally-owned pistol, steadied himself on a pole, and fired 10 rounds at Sapirman from 40 yards away, WTHR reported.
The suspect tried to flee back into the bathroom but dropped to the flood before he could escape.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
“His actions were nothing short of heroic,” Chief Ison said. “He engaged the gunman from quite a distance with a handgun. Was very proficient in that, was tactically sound and as he moved to close in on the suspect, he was also motioning for people to exit behind him.”
Three people were killed and two more were wounded before Dicken intervened.
“Many people would have died last night if not for a responsible armed citizen that took action very quickly within the first two minutes of this shooting,” the police chief added.
Dicken learned to shoot from his grandfather and has no military or police weapons training, according to WTHR.
“If he didn’t stop, you think of how many people in that food court?” his girlfriend’s grandmother asked. “I’m just glad they’re okay. It’s just a heartbreaking situation.”
The grandmother said Shay immediately jumped up to help the wounded after the shooting stopped, WTHR reported.
“She’s been in nursing school for two years,” her grandmother explained. “She said she took her coat off and put a tourniquet around it and waited. She jumped in and went into action, yeah, and it’s just her adrenaline mode to just do that.”
A spokesperson for the mall said in a statement that they appreciated “heroic actions of the Good Samaritan who stopped the suspect,” WXIN reported.
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.