Police on Monday provided more details about thethat left three victims dead — including the name of the "Good Samaritan" who is believed to have killed the shooter and stopped the attack. Officials called the actions of the armed civilian "nothing short of heroic," noting that the gunman likely would have killed many more people had he not intervened.
Police said the incident began at approximately 4:54 p.m. local time, when a shooter entered the mall and went straight to a food court bathroom. He stayed there for an hour and two minutes before exiting and beginning to shoot, striking several people and killing three, police said. At 5:57 p.m., less than two minutes after leaving the bathroom, he was confronted by the Good Samaritan, who was visiting the mall with his girlfriend.
The armed civilian was identified by police as 22-year-old Elisjsha Dicken.
In a press conference Monday, Mayor Mark M. Meyers called Dicken a "Greenwood Good Samaritan" and thanked him for his quick actions in stopping the shooter. Greenwood Police Chief James Ison said that "Many more people would have died last night if not for a responsible armed citizen who took action within the first two minutes of this shooting."
Ison also commended Dicken for his skills neutralizing the shooter, saying he engaged the gunman from "quite a distance" and that his actions were "very tactically sound." He said he does not believe Dicken had any law enforcement or military background.
At the press conference, Johns County Coroner Michael Pruitt identified the deceased victims as Pedro Pineda, 56; and Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda, 37; and Victor Gomez, 30. Pedro and Rosa were a married couple having dinner in the food court, Ison said.
A 22-year-old woman and a 12-year-old girl were wounded in the shooting. Both are expected to survive.
Police identified the shooter as 20-year-old Jonathan Douglas Sapirman. Police said he was a White man, but did not provide any motive.
Police said Monday that the alleged shooter had a juvenile record but no criminal history as an adult. His juvenile encounters with police were related to minor offenses, such as a fight at school and being listed as a juvenile runaway. Police said they believe he walked to the mall, as he does not drive.
Police added the suspect lived alone and they were told by family members he had been recently served an eviction notice. He also left a warehouse job in May, police said.
When police searched the apartment, they found the suspect's oven was turned on a high temperature. Inside, police said they found a laptop and a can of butane.
Officials recovered two rifles and a Glock pistol after the shooting. Both of the rifles were purchased in Greenwood. Police also recovered multiple magazines and at least 100 rounds of ammo. Only one of the rifles was used in the shooting, police said.
Family members told police there were no indicators the alleged shooter was violent or unstable, Ison said. Police have recovered a cell phone from inside a toilet in the mall bathroom they believe belonged to the alleged shooter and are currently working to extract information from it.
A spokesperson for the Greenwood Park Mall said Monday that "We grieve for the victims of yesterday's horrific tragedy."
"Violence has no place in this or any other community," the spokesperson said. "We are grateful for the strong response of the first responders, including the heroic actions of the Good Samaritan who stopped the suspect."
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