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The gunman at an Indiana mall brought multiple weapons, the Good Samaritan who shot him was credited with saving countless lives

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The suspected shooter at the Indiana mall had two rifles, a handgun and more than 100 rounds of ammunition, authorities said Monday, and the Good Samaritan who fatally shot him is credited with saving “countless lives.”

Three people were killed in the Greenwood Park Mall outside Indianapolis on Sunday. Two others were injured and the gunman is also dead.

The suspected gunman was identified by officials as Jonathan Douglas Sapirman, 20, of Greenwood. Sapirman entered the Greenwood Park Mall and went to a restroom near the food court at 4:54 p.m. Sunday, Greenwood Police Chief Jim Ison said Monday.

Sapirman stayed in the bathroom for 62 minutes, then went outside and began firing a SIG Sauer rifle near and in the mall food court, killing three people.

The victims were identified as husband and wife Pedro Pineda, 56, and Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda, 37, both from Indianapolis; and Victor Gomez, 30, of Indianapolis.

Elishsha Dicken, 22, of Seymour, Indiana, was shopping at the mall with his girlfriend, saw the gunman and within minutes of Sapirman opening initial fire, he returned fire with a handgun and killed Sapirman, Ison said.

“His actions were nothing short of heroic,” Ison said. “He attacked the gunman from quite a distance with a pistol, was very skilled at that, very tactically fine. And as he approached the suspect, he also gestured for people to get out behind him.”

Investigators have no indication that Dicken has a military or law enforcement background, Ison said.

In all, investigators recovered 24 gunshots fired by Sapirman and 10 rounds fired by Dicken, Ison said.

Although Sapirman had other weapons, he only managed to fire with one rifle, Ison said. Authorities have not found a motive and Sapirman had no criminal record as an adult. He had only minor interactions with law enforcement as a minor before a fight at school and running away from home, Ison said.

“There was no indication that he was violent or unstable,” he said Sapirman’s parents told the researchers.

A second rifle was found in a bathroom by investigators, Ison said. The suspect’s cell phone was discovered in a toilet in a bathroom cubicle, he said.

Sapirman had “on his person” multiple magazines and more than 100 ammunition, along with a handgun, Ison said.

Investigators have learned that over the past two years, Sapirman frequented a gun store and a shooting range, where he bought ammunition and honed his shooting skills, Ison said.

Sapirman lived alone, Ison said, and investigators checked reports that he was facing deportation. Sapirman had resigned from a warehouse job in May, Ison said.

In addition to the dead, a 22-year-old woman suffered a “leg wound” and is recovering, Ison said, and a 12-year-old girl suffered minor injuries when a bullet bounced off her and hit her.

Greenwood Mayor Mark W. Myers said Monday, “I grieve for these senseless killings. And I grieve for the scars left on the victims and on our community.”

Image: FBI agents gather outside Greenwood Park Mall in Greenwood, Ind., after a shooting on July 17, 2022.
FBI agents gather outside Greenwood Park Mall in Greenwood, Ind., after a shooting on July 17, 2022.Kelly Wilkinson / The Indianapolis Star / USA-Today Network

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Myers also said of Dicken: “This young man, the Good Samaritan of Greenwood, acted within seconds, stopping the gunman and saving countless lives.”

Ty Straub, 35, of Indianapolis, was at the mall about 100 yards from the food court on Sunday when he heard screams and saw a rush of people running over each other.

“I saw people pushing past each other and running as fast as they could. So once I saw that, I wasted no time. I started running,” he told NBC News.

In the chaos he heard someone say: ‘gunner, gunner’, but heard no shots himself.

“I actually ran like the wind. I told everyone around me with what little breath I had, ‘They said there’s a shooter, there’s a shooter. Go, go,’” he recalled.

Straub said, “I’ve never been so scared in my life.”

He successfully returned to his car and police and ambulances arrived minutes later.

“Something you never think you would actually see seems crazy, because the times are coming when we all have to turn our heads and be ready for whatever,” Straub said.

The motive and circumstances of the shooting are under investigation, Ison said.

Officers, including members of the Indianapolis Division SWAT team, went through the mall Sunday night to make sure no one was injured or needed help in hiding, an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer said.

A backpack left by the gunman in a bathroom, according to police, did not appear to pose a threat, he said.

Greenwood Park Mall condemned the shooting Monday, saying, “Violence has no place in this or any other community.”

“We mourn the victims of yesterday’s terrible tragedy in Greenwood,” the statement said. “We are grateful for the strong response from the first responders, including the heroic actions of the Good Samaritan who apprehended the suspect.”

The mall was closed on Monday.

Mike Pence, who served as governor of Indiana from 2013 to 2017 and vice president under Donald Trump, said Monday morning. “Our prayers are with the fallen and injured.” He praised the civilian who stopped the shooter as a “Hoosier Hero.”

Three hours after the shooting at Greenwood Park Mall, another person was killed and three were injured when gunfire broke out in Don Challis Park, just seven miles south of another Indianapolis suburb, Beech Grove.

“Our Beech Grove EMS, which I think is the best, believe it or not, was unavailable for this incident because our ambulances were helping people in the Greenwood Mall,” Mayor Dennis Buckley told reporters Monday. “We don’t choose and choose, we help.”

Beech Grove authorities thanked first responders from other neighboring communities for filling the gap on Sunday night.


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