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Who is Jonathan Douglas Sapirman, the Indiana mall shooter ?

Police say the gunman spent an hour in the bathroom, possibly putting together a gun, before opening fire on shoppers and killing three. A 'good Samaritan' was praised for using deadly fire to stop the shooter.

US authorities said Monday that a 20-year-old man probably put together a gun in the bathroom of an Indianapolis suburb shopping mall. He then shot five people in the food court, killing three of them, before an armed shopper killed him.

James Ison, the city's police chief, said at a news conference that Jonathan Sapirman of Greenwood was facing eviction when he opened fire at the Greenwood Park Mall just before it closed on Sunday evening.

Sapirman kept shooting people until he was killed by 22-year-old Elisjsha Dicken, who was shopping with his girlfriend in Seymour, a city about 45 miles (72 kilometers) south of Greenwood. Ison called Dicken's quick action "nothing short of heroic."

The face of the man police say is the mass shooter at the Greenwood Mall south of Indy. Jonathan Douglas Sapirman. @WLWT

— Brian Hamrick (@bhamrick_wlwt) July 18, 2022

"Many more people would have died last night if it hadn't been for a responsible armed citizen," the chief said, adding that police were still trying to figure out why the attack happened.

The Johnson County and Marion County coroners' offices said that Pedro Pineda, 56, and Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda, 37, both of Indianapolis, and Victor Gomez, 30, also of Indianapolis, were killed. Police say that the attack hurt a woman and a 12-year-old girl who were both hit by shrapnel.

Although authorities said Dicken was legally armed, the mall prohibits people from carrying weapons on its property. The mall issued a statement Monday saying it grieves for the victims and praising Dicken’s “heroic actions.” It didn’t mention its no-weapons policy and its operator, the Simon Property Group, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The image provided on Monday, July 18, 2022 by the Greenwood Police Department shows Jonathan Douglas Sapirman, 20. (Greenwood Police Department via AP)

Since July 1, anyone 18 or older can carry a handgun in public in Indiana, unless a court says they can't because they have a felony conviction, are subject to a restraining order, or have a dangerous mental illness. The Republican-controlled Indiana Legislature kept parts of the law that allow private property owners to ban guns.

The assault Sunday's shooting was the latest in a long line of mass shootings in the US. Schools, churches, grocery stores, and even a July 4th parade near Chicago have all been places where people have been killed in recent months. However, the country's shockingly high murder rate is often more obvious in single killings that don't make headlines.

— John Curtis  (@Johnmcurtis) July 18, 2022

On Sunday, the authorities said that four of the victims were women and one was a man. On Monday, they changed that to two men and three women.

Ison said that Sapirman walked into the mall and went into a bathroom. He stayed there for about an hour before coming out and starting to shoot. He said that investigators think Sapirman spent that time getting ready and maybe putting together a rifle that he had brought in his backpack but was not put together. In the end, he fired 24 shots in just two minutes.

Greenwood Police Chief James Ison speak during a press conference at the Greenwood City Center in Greenwood, Ind., Monday, July 18, 2022. (AP/Michael Conroy)

Ison said that Sapirman used a gun like an AR-15 during the shooting, and that investigators found another gun in the bathroom. They also found a handgun on Sapirman. It was in a holster on his belt, and he had more than 100 rounds of ammunition in several magazines.

Jonathan Sapirman Greenwood Park Mall shooting gunman motive

Even though police don't know why Sapirman was attacked, his family members told them that he had recently been told he was being kicked out of his apartment. Ison said that authorities were still trying to confirm this information. He also said that Sapirman's family said he quit his job in a warehouse in May.

“Right now we have no motive. His family members that we spoke to, they were just as surprised as everyone else was. They said there were no indicators that he was violent or unstable,” Ison said.

Jonathan Sapirman Greenwood Park Mall shooting gunman
Jonathan Sapirman Greenwood Park Mall shooting gunman. Images via social media.

The chief said Dicken fired 10 rounds from his handgun, and that as he fired, Sapirman “attempted to retreat back into the restroom and failed, and fell to the ground after being shot.”

“He engaged the gunman from quite a distance with a handgun and 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,” Ison said of Dicken.

Elisjsha Dicken Greenwood Park Mall shooting
Pictured, Elisjsha Dicken Seymor, Indiana man who shot dead Jonathan Sapirman Greenwood Park Mall shooting gunman

The chief said that Sapirman had a criminal record as a child, including a fight at school and a time when he ran away from home, but that he had no criminal record as an adult.

He said that relatives of Sapirman told investigators that he had been practicing shooting at a gun range, and that records from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives showed that he had gone to the range often and bought ammunition there over the past two years.

Ison said that officers found a phone in a mall bathroom toilet that they think Sapirman put there. At Sapirman's apartment, they found a laptop and a can of butane in the oven, which was on and set to a high temperature, the chief said without giving more details.

FILE – Shoppers leave the Greenwood Park Mall on May 4, 2020, in Greenwood, Ind. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police said several people were killed and others injured in a shooting Sunday, July 17, 2022, at the mall in Greenwood. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

The cellphone and the laptop, which was broken by the heat of the oven, will be looked at by the FBI, and he said, "We're very interested to see what they find."

Mark Myers, the mayor of Greenwood, a city of about 60,000 people south of Indianapolis, said that the town is shocked and saddened by the mass shooting that happened there.

“I don’t want to be among the mayors that has to share these statements. But sadly, I am,” he said. “I grieve for these senseless killings, and I ache for the scars that are left behind on the victims and on our community.”


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