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Police Identify Indiana Mall Shooting Victims, the Suspect, and the ‘Good Samaritan’ Who Stopped Him


Police have identified three slain victims, the suspect who killed them, and the “Good Samaritan” who stopped the slaughter.

Officers said in a press conference Monday night that Jonathan Douglas Sapirman, 20, stepped out of a restroom at the food court of the Greenwood Park Mall in Indiana on Sunday. Armed with a SIG Sauer M400 semiautomatic rifle, he fatally shot Victor Gomez, 30, said city Police Chief Jim Ison. Sapirman pointed the gun into the food court, where married couple Pedro Pineda, 56, and Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda, 37, were eating dinner. He opened fire, killing them, cops said.

But armed bystander Elisjsha Dicken, 22, was nearby and armed. He took out a 9mm handgun and opened fire multiple times, police said.

“I will say his actions were nothing short of heroic,” said Ison, who told reporters he saw surveillance footage of “pretty much” the entire incident. “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.”

Dicken struck Sapirman, who tried to retreat back into restroom but fell to the ground after being shot, Ison said.

Sapirman was the fourth — and last — person fatally shot that day. He had fired 24 rounds, Ison said.

Jonathan Douglas Sapirman

Jonathan Douglas Sapirman

A woman, who did not want to be identified, told WTHR that Dicken was there with her granddaughter Shay Goldman.

“I just know that I’m so proud of him for what he’s done,” the woman said. “He saved my granddaughter. I know he did. She said on the phone when she called me, ‘Grandma, I’m OK. That Eli pushed me out of the way and told me to get down and stay down,’ and everybody should be proud of him for what he’s done because if not, there would have been a lot more.”

Authorities said a 22-year-old woman survived gunshot wound to the leg.

According to the grandmother, Shay said she helped an injured woman shot in the leg. She was treated at a hospital.

“She’s been in nursing school for two years,” the grandmother told WTHR. “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.”

The other injured survivor was an injured 12-year-old girl. Ison said they believe a bullet fragment ricocheted off a wall, striking her. She was treated for a minor wound at a hospital, Ison said. Hospital workers removed a small piece of metal jacket from the injury, he said.

“I’m glad they’re both ok,” the grandmother reportedly said of Dicken and Goldman. “And I’m glad he did what he did, but we need prayers for him. He needs prayers because that’s–to take somebody’s life is hard. Just please let’s pray for them. That’s what we need is to pray. And pray for this world!”

Ison said officers could not find that Dicken had a permit. But, as he referenced in the press conference, Indiana law recently changed so that people don’t need a permit to carry a firearm outside.

The chief and Greenwood Mayor Mark W. Myers requested privacy on Dicken’s behalf.

“He’s a young man processing a lot,” Myers told reporters on Monday. “I ask that you give him space and time to be able to process what he’s gone through last night.”

Sapirman also brought a Glock and left a disassembled Smith & Wesson M&P15 in a backpack in the restroom, Ison said. He arrived at the mall by the food court at 4:54 p.m. on Sunday, entered the restroom and stayed there for an hour and two minutes, the chief said. Ison suggested that Sapirman was preparing for the shooting.

He stepped out and opened fire, but Dicken confronted him at 5:57 p.m., the chief said.

“The Good Samaritan was armed with a pistol and engaged the shooter as he stood outside the restroom area firing into the food court,” the chief said.

Ison said investigators did not know suspect’s motive. FBI investigators were working on drying out the phone he apparently put in a restroom toilet, the chief said. Investigators executed a search warrant at his apartment, and they discovered his oven on — a laptop and butane tank inside. Ison declined to say if they think Sapirman was trying to set a fire or destroy the computer. Again, FBI investigators are working on attempting to analyze the damaged device.

According to Ison, Sapirman’s family voiced shock at what he did. They allegedly said he did not show signs of being violent or unstable. Ison told reporters that Sapirman had no criminal history as an adult, but had a juvenile record with minor offenses. He noted a fight at school and described Sapirman as having been a “juvenile runaway.”

Sapirman quit a warehouse position in May, Ison said. Family believed he got an eviction notice, but police were still working on confirming that, Ison said.

In the chaos, bystanders left items including shopping bags, wallets, and cell phones, Ison said. On Tuesday, anyone who is missing a personal item left behind can go to the Greenwood Police Training Center at 736 Lowes Boulevard between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Ison said. Officers there can help in getting their property, he said. He asked that people bring a form of identification.

[Screenshot via WXIN]

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