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Indiana mall mass shooting: First victim had a gun, no time to use it

greenwood mall shooting.png
greenwood mall shooting.png
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Posted at 7:09 AM, Jul 19, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS — One of the people shot to death by a gunman at Greenwood Park Mall in Greenwood, Indiana, Sunday was carrying a handgun that he never had a chance to pull, Greenwood Police Chief Jim Ison told WRTV.

Victor Gomez was walking in as the gunman was exiting a restroom near the food court when the suspect, Jonathan Douglas Sapirman, shot him to death.

"He (Sapirman) comes out (of a restroom) and the very first person that he sees walking into the restroom, he fires on, (he) shoots, then turns the gun to the food court and starts firing into the food court," Ison said.

Gomez was the first of five people who the suspect shot. Three of them died.

Police later found that Gomez was carrying a handgun. Ison said Gomez had no chance to pull his gun and defend himself.

“He had no time,” Ison said.

Sapirman fired 24 rounds in about two minutes, Ison said. A bystander, Elisjsha Dicken, pulled a handgun and shot Sapirman to death, police said.

Dicken, who lives in Seymour, fired the first shot from a distance of about 40 to 50 yards, Ison said.

"With a handgun to be that accurate, he was an excellent shot," Ison said. "He (Dicken) then advanced towards the suspect to make sure that he was no longer a threat. As he was moving towards the suspect very tactically, he was motioning for people to exit behind him."

Dicken, 22, has no military or law enforcement training, Ison said. Dicken told investigators that his grandfather taught him how to shoot.

"So this young man has his wits about him. He acted very calmly," Ison said. "Matter of fact, when I first saw it my first question was 'is that a police officer?'”

In the two minutes before Sapirman was stopped, officials said Sapirman killed Gomez, and husband and wife couple Pedro Pineda, 56, and Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda, 37, all of whom live in Indianapolis. A 12-year-old girl suffered a minor injury and another person was hospitalized, police said.

Dicken, Ison said, saved others from being injured or killed.

“I am 100 percent certain that many more people would have died last night if it wasn’t for his heroism.”

This article was written by Vic Ryckaert for WRTV.