Elisjsha Dicken, the man who stopped the shooting at an Indiana mall

A bystander’s decision to shoot a man who opened fire at an Indiana mall it was a rare occurrence of someone stepping in to try and prevent multiple casualties before the police arrived.

Elisjsha Dicken, 22 years old, legally carrying a concealed handgun at the time, “attacked” the suspect on Sunday almost as soon as he opened fire with a rifle in a food court at the Greenwood Park Mall in Greenwood, Indiana, authorities said. Police said they did not know the motive for the attack.

Dicken immediately became a celebrity for supporters of the right to bear arms.who argue, despite government statistics to the contrary, that armed civilians are the best defense against the kinds of random mass shootings that killed more than 100 people in the United States last year.

Greenwood Police Chief Jim Ison recognized Dicken, who was at the mall with his girlfriend on Sunday night, as a hero whose bravery and competence prevented further bloodshed. Dicken now needed “space and time to process what has happened,” the chief said in a media call for restraint.

Although he lacked police or military training, Dicken exhibited “competent” and “tactically sound” motions in firing at “the gunman with a gun from quite a distance,” Ison told reporters.

“As he engaged and approached the suspect,” Dicken motioned for others in the vicinity to get out behind him, the chief said, adding that Dicken later turned himself in to mall security personnel and cooperated with police.

The shooting lasted just two minutes from when the suspect opened fire until he was killed.. Earlier, the gunman had spent more than an hour in a mall bathroom, apparently preparing for the attack and assembling the murder weapon he was carrying unarmed in a bag, the chief said.

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Dicken was initially handcuffed and his gun was confiscated before he was questioned by the police department, where his account was verified by video footage, according to Ison.

“Many more people would have been killed last night were it not for a responsible armed citizen who acted very quickly in the first two minutes of the shooting,” Ison said.

The boss said that Dicken fired 10 rounds from his pistol and that, while firing, Sapirman “attempted to retreat to the bathroom and missed, and fell to the ground after being shot.”

He engaged the gunman from quite a distance with a pistol and was very skilled at it, very tactically sound. And as he was moving to get closer to the suspect, he was also directing people to get out behind him,” Ison said of Dicken.

On the mall’s website, the company posted a message saying it was “grateful for the strong response from first responders, including the heroic actions of the Good Samaritan who apprehended the suspect.” The company said the mall was closed on Monday.

According to Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, private companies can restrict gun owners from carrying a gun on their property. Still, it’s generally not illegal to ignore a “no firearms” sign in a private business, he wrote in the state’s Gun Owners Bill of Rights before Sunday’s shooting.

Rokita said that the only consequence of ignoring a company’s ban can occur after someone carrying a firearm ignores a direct warning that denies entry or tells him to go away.

The gunman was identified as Jonathan Douglas Sapirman.20, a local resident living alone, quit his warehouse job in May and had recently been evicted, the boss said. Ison said Sapirman had no criminal record, except for a juvenile record that includes a fight at school. and a runaway incident. He did not drive and is believed to have walked to the mall on Sunday, the chief said.

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Ison said the suspect had two rifles that he had purchased in March. and a pistol with multiple magazines of ammunition and more than 100 rounds of bullets, and which fired about 24 rounds from one of the rifles. He had frequented a local shooting range for target practice for the past two years. Of the three people killed, two were husband and wife, aged 56 and 37, respectively.. The third was a 30-year-old man. Two other people were injured, he said.

He added that officers recovered a cell phone from a toilet in the mall’s bathroom that they believe Sapirman placed there.. In Sapirman’s apartment, they found a laptop and a can of butane inside the oven, which was turned on and set to a high temperature, the chief said without elaborating.

The cell phone and laptop, which was damaged by the heat of the oven, will be analyzed by the FBI, and that “we are very curious to analyze them.”

State gun laws in focus

A wave of gun violence in public places since May, including Mass shootings at a grocery store in upstate New York, a Texas elementary school y an Independence Day parade in suburban Illinois, has renewed a fierce debate in the United States about gun regulations.

Gun rights advocates seized on the latest shooting as an example of why allowing Americans to carry firearms is important.

We’ll say it again: The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.the National Rifle Association (NRA) said in a tweet Monday morning.

It is rare for a bystander to stop an “active shooter” attack in the United States, according to an FBI report from May showing that only two of 61 such attacks last year ended when “citizens confronted the shooter.” A similar New York Times analysis found that only 22 armed men in the 433 mass shootings since 2000 they were shot by a bystander.

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The Greenwood incident also raised questions about the interplay between state law and the rights of private entities to prohibit weapons on their property. The shooting comes weeks after the repeal of an Indiana firearms permit requirement. Now, anyone over the age of 18 who is not legally prohibited from owning firearms can generally carry a concealed weapon in public.

The law conflicts with the policy of Simon Property Group, which owns the Greenwood Park Mall, which prohibits guns on its properties, according to its website.. The Indianapolis-based company was not available for comment Monday.


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