GREENWOOD, IN – Officials have identified the three deceased victims killed in the mass shooting that occurred at an Indiana mall this week, as well as the deceased suspect and the heroic armed bystander who took out the suspect within minutes of the shooting.
As previously reported, the mass shooting occurred at the Greenwood Park Mall at approximately 6:00 p.m. on July 17th, where a gunman had reportedly opened fire upon patrons inside of the mall’s food court.
Three people were killed during the incident, not including the gunman, and two others were injured before an individual initially described as by officials as a “Good Samaritan” had intervened and fatally shot the gunman.
Officials have now released additional details regarding the incident, identifying the deceased suspect as 20-year-old Jonathan Sapirman and the heroic armed bystander as 22-year-old Elisjsha Dicken.
According to authorities, Sapirman had entered the mall shortly before 5:00 p.m. on July 17th, making his way to the bathroom near the food court upon entering.
Sapirman had reportedly sat inside the food court restroom for approximately an hour preparing for the shooting before emerging with a rifle and opening fire.
The gunman fatally shot a husband and wife from Indianapolis who were identified as 56-year-old Pedro Pineda and 37-year-old Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda, as well as a third shopper identified as 30-year-old Victor Gomez.
As for the other injured victims, they were only identified as a 22-year-old woman who was shot in the leg and a 12-year-old girl who was struck in the back by a bullet fragment that had ricocheted off of a wall inside of the mall. The 22-year-old woman is still recovering at an area hospital whereas the young girl received medical treatment for her injury.
Approximately two minutes after Sapirman opened fire, Dicken – who was armed with a pistol while shopping with his girlfriend – engaged the shooter, firing 10 rounds at the suspect from reportedly a considerable distance.
Sapirman tried to retreat back to the bathroom after coming under fire, but had sustained a fatal gunshot wound during the firefight and collapsed to the ground. At the time Sapirman was taken out, he still had over 100 rounds of ammunition on him.
Greenwood Police Chief James Ison had nothing but accolades to share when referencing Dicken’s heroism, telling reporters, “His actions were nothing short of heroic. He engaged the gunman from quite a distance with a handgun, was very proficient in that, very tactically sound and as he moved to close in on the suspect, he was also motioning for people to exit behind him.”
Officials also noted that Dicken does not have any sort of formal military background or police training, thus making his actions that day all the more remarkable.
Guy Relford, an attorney representing Dicken who also moonlights as a firearm instructor, praised his client’s actions but added that he nor his client will be affording any “substantive comments” regarding the incident out of respect for the ongoing investigation and the victims.
Police have yet to attribute a specific motive in the mass shooting, with the deceased suspect’s family even being reportedly “surprised” that Sapirman would carry out such a heinous crime.
Family members of Sapirman did afford some insight into the suspect’s personal life prior to the mass shooting, noting he’d resigned from a warehouse job this past May and was facing eviction from his apartment at the time of the incident.
Sapirman apparently had no criminal record as an adult, but had previous run ins with police and arrests related to running away from home and fights at school as a juvenile. Relatives of the gunman also confirmed that Sapirman had been frequenting firing ranges over the past two years and had been purchasing firearms from a local stores this past March.
A cellphone that Sapirman brought with him to the mall was reportedly left inside of a toilet inside of the bathroom he’d posted up in prior to the shooting.
FBI special agent in charge of the bureau’s Indianapolis Field Office, Herbert Stapleton, made mention of the suspect’s cellphone, saying, “We’re working as fast as we can to try to get the phone to a point where it can be exploited, there’s no guarantee that we’ll be able to recover any data, we’re just working as fast as we can to try to get that done.”
A SWAT team who raided the suspect’s apartment following the shooting also happened upon a laptop left smoldering inside of an oven, alongside a can of butane. Chief Ison brought up the laptop aspect, telling reporters, “I don’t want to speculate what his intentions were, whether it could have been to cause a fire or to damage the laptop, but we did retrieve the laptop and that is going to go to Quantico to be analyzed.”