A gunman armed with a rifle and multiple magazines of ammo killed three people and injured two others at an Indiana shopping mall on Sunday, before being taken down by a 22-year-old with a handgun who witnessed the shooting.
One of the injured is a 12-year-old girl who suffered a minor scratch on her back. The second person who was injured is in a stable condition, officials said.
The three fatalities were reported to be in their 20s and 30s, while all but one of the victims were female, according to reports.
The shooting happened early evening on Sunday at the Greenwood Park Mall in suburban Indianapolis, some 10 miles south of the city’s downtown.
Greenwood Police Chief James Ison said that the shooter was armed with a rifle and had multiple magazines when he began opening fire.
The gunman – who has not been named – was quickly shot dead by a ‘Good Samaritan’ who witnessed the shooting, according Ison. The man used a handgun to bring down the assailant.
Ison said that the man who shot the gunman is a 22-year old from Bartholomew County, Indiana. The hero stopped the shooting almost as soon as it began.
‘The real hero of the day is the citizen that was lawfully carrying a firearm in that food court and was able to stop the shooter almost as soon as he began,’ Ison said.
Police believe that the shooter acted alone. At this point he has only been described as an adult male. Officials have not speculated on a motive for the shooting.
Officers confiscated a suspicious backpack that was in a bathroom near the food court, Ison said. A bomb squad was called in to assess the backpack, which was later ‘cleared’ by the attending authorities.
Officials did not release the names of the victims, gunman or bystander. Shoppers and mall employees scattered at the sound of gunfire or hid.
Speaking to the Indianapolis Star, James Arthur, who win the mall with his family, said the gun ‘sounded like a big gun.’ Arthur said that he thought that he heard at least 20 rounds go off.
Another witness, , Abigail, who works at the mall, told WRTV reporter Rafael Sanchez: ‘I was standing at the gate, ready to close to for the day. I heard 30 gunshots and I just saw people running towards the store. I was just letting in as many people as I could before I shut the gate.’
She added: ‘I wanted to close the gate but people kept running at me… I have three kids at home and I just wanted to get home.’
The man who shot the suspected mass shooter dead has been identified as a 22-year-old male
Emergency personnel continuing to work through the scene at the Greenwood Park Mall in Greenwood, Indiana
ATF officers arrive on the scene arrive at the scene of the deadly shooting
In total, four people were killed in the shooting at Greenwood Park Mall, including the gunman
The shooter was shot dead by a good Samaritan who witnessed the shooting, according to Greenwood Police Chief James Ison
Chris Roy, the assistant manager of the Vans store in the mall, relayed a similar story to the Indianapolis Star.
Roy said that when he saw people running he ‘jumped over the counter, locked the door, gathered my associates and other managers at the back door.’ He said that while they hadn’t heard gunshots, seeing people running was enough.
Through the back of the store, the Vans staff met staff and customers from other stores through an interior hallway. In total, Roy said that he stayed hidden with around 50 other people. He added: ‘We just instructed everybody to keep quiet.’
After about 10 or 15 minutes of hiding, police cleared them from the hallway and escorted them out of the shopping mall, The Star reported.
The police chief told reporters: ‘It appears that he had a rifle with several magazines of ammunition, entered the food court and began shooting.’
An investigation into the attack is on-going, with the FBI, ATF, Department of Homeland security and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police all assisting.
Chief Ison said that officials are studying security footage showing the moments before the shooting.
Officers were called shortly before 6 p.m. to Greenwood Park Mall, where gunshots were reportedly fired in the food court, assistant chief of police Chris Bailey said at a brief news conference earlier on Sunday.
Authorities searched the mall for any other victims or for those who may have been hiding, but Bailey said he believes the shooting was contained to the food court.
Bailey said at the press conference: ‘You are seeing the best that public safety has to offer right now behind us. We are sickened by yet another type of incident like this in our country, in our city.’ He continued: ‘We are sickened by yet another type of incident like this in our country.
James Arthur and his family, including daughter, Madison Willoughby react after exiting the mall following the shooting
Greenwood Assistant Chief Chris Bailey said at press conference: ‘You are seeing the best that public safety has to offer right now behind us’
A law enforcement officer attaches crime scene tape to a shopping cart after a shooting at a mall in the Indianapolis suburb of Greenwood, Indiana
A view of Greenwood Park Mall, after a shooting, in the Indianapolis suburb of Greenwood, Indiana, U.S. July 17, 2022
Law enforcement officers walk near the crime scene outside the shopping mall
Law enforcement officers walk outside the shopping mall near the crime scene
Law enforcement officers stand guard near the crime scene after a shooting at a mall in the Indianapolis suburb of Greenwood, Indiana, U.S. July 17, 2022
Officials said the suspicious backpack was found in a bathroom close to where the shooting unfolded beside a Dick’s Sporting Goods store. It was investigated by the bomb squad before being deemed to not be a threat.
‘We experienced a mass shooting this evening at the Greenwood Park Mall,’ Mark Myers, the mayor of Greenwood, Indiana, said in a statement.
Myers thanked the good Samaritan for his quick action, and asked for ‘prayers to the victims and our first responders.’
‘This tragedy hits at the core of our community,’ he said.
The mayor said that while the shooter’s motive remains a mystery ‘we do know that someone we are calling the ‘Good Samaritan’ was able to shoot the assailant and stop further bloodshed. This person saved lives tonight. On behalf of the City of Greenwood, I am grateful for his quick action and heroism in this situation.’
While Indiana Senator Todd Young, a Republican, tweeted: ‘Terrible news tonight in my home county. Praying for the victims of a shooting at the Greenwood Park Mall. Thank you to our law enforcement officers who responded.’
Senator Mike Braun, also a Republican, said: ‘Praying for families of those killed in a senseless act of violence in Greenwood tonight, and grateful for the brave armed citizen who took action to stop the perpetrator and prevent further tragic loss of life.’
Conservative talk show host Todd Starnes said: ‘Indiana police say a mass shooter who opened fire inside the food court of the Greenwood Park Mall was taken down by a Good Samaritan armed with a handgun. Your Second Amendment at work.’
Authorities said they would provide more details Monday.
Officials also said that a suspicious backpack was found in a bathroom close to where the shooting unfolded
In a statement, Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers said: ‘This tragedy hits at the core of our community
The town of Greenwood, Indiana, is located around 15 miles south of Indianapolis
Hours after the shooting in Greenwood, one person was killed and three others wounded in another Indianapolis suburb. This time in Beech Grove, just 11 miles from Greenwood.
That shooting took place in a park.
Sunday’s shooting is the latest attack in a wave of gun violence plaguing the United States, where about 40,000 deaths a year are caused by firearms, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
It comes just weeks after a gunman opened fire on a July 4 parade in an affluent Chicago suburb, killing seven people and injuring at least three dozen.
That incident followed two massacres in May that saw 10 Black people shot dead at a Buffalo, New York supermarket, and 19 children and two teachers slain at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, 2022 has so far seen 352 mass shootings, while 24,141 have been killed by guns. In the last 72 hours alone, the archive shows that 147 people have died in incidents involving a gun.
The recent surge in gun violence has reignited the divisive debate over firearm regulation. A US House of Representatives’ committee is set this week to discuss a bill that would ban assault weapons for the first time in nearly 20 years.
A 10-year federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004.