GREENWOOD, Ind. ( Associated Press) — Three people were fatally shot and two wounded, including a 12-year-old girl, at an Indiana shopping mall after a man with a rifle opened fire in a food court. and an armed civilian shot and killed. him, police said.
The man entered the Greenwood Park Mall Sunday night with a rifle and several magazines of ammunition and began shooting in the food court, Greenwood Police Department Chief Jim Ison said.
The three people who died joined the man with the rifle. The identity of the gunman and a possible motive were not immediately known.
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A 22-year-old from nearby Bartholomew County who was legally carrying a firearm at the mall shot and killed the attacker, Ison said at a news conference.
“The real hero of the day is the citizen who was legally carrying a firearm in that food court and was able to stop the shooter almost as soon as it started,” Ison said.
The mass shooting was just the latest to baffle Americans in 2022. Schools, churches, grocery stores and a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois have become killing fields in recent months. Still, the reality of America’s staggering murder rate can often be seen most clearly in individual deaths that rarely make the news.
Officers went to the mall around 6:00 p.m. looking for reports of the shooting. Four of those struck by the gunfire were women and one was a man, Ison said. He did not immediately know the sex or ages of those who were killed. The 12-year-old girl and the other injured person are in stable condition, she said.
Police seized a suspicious backpack that was in a bathroom near the food court, Ison said.
A press conference with authorities has been scheduled for Monday afternoon to provide updates.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police and many other agencies were assisting in the investigation.
“We are sickened by another type of incident like this in our country,” Indianapolis Deputy Police Chief Chris Bailey said.
There was no threat to the area Sunday night, authorities said.
Greenwood is a suburb south of Indianapolis with a population of about 60,000. Mayor Mark Myers asked for “prayers for the victims and our first responders.”
“This tragedy strikes at the core of our community,” Myers said in a statement.
Greenwood Park Mall said in a statement that it feels sorry for the victims and praised first responders as well as the “heroic actions” of the 22-year-old who police say fatally shot the attacker.
“Violence has no place in this or any other community,” the mall said.