Gunman Opens Fire at Garden State Mall in Paramus, NJ … Hundreds Trapped Overnight as Police Search … (Update: Gunman ID’d as Richard Shoop Found Dead, Suicide) (Update: Stolen Weapon)
It is being reported that police are responding to reports of gunman inside Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus, NJ and shots have been fired. The incident occurred Monday night at just around closing time of the mall located in Bergen County, NJ. Employes and shoppers were ordered to huddle behind locked doors in the mall’s stores. Many others ran to the parking lot for safety after shots were fired.
A gunman, dressed head-to-toe in black and wearing a black helmet, fired shots in New Jersey’s Westfield Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus just before closing time Monday night, witnesses and authorities said. None of the witness reported seeing anyone hit by the gunfire, and Jim Tedesco, the deputy coordinator of the Bergen County Office of Emergency Management, confirmed late Monday night that no injuries had been reported. Witnesses described a chaotic scene that unfolded as the sound of gunshots rang out inside the mall just before it was due to close at 9:30 p.m. Authorities ordered shoppers and employees to huddle behind locked doors in the mall’s stores. Many were escorted to safety, but many more — perhaps thousands — remained inside the mall under lockdown orders after midnight, authorities said.
UPDATE I: Gunman Opens Fire in NJ Mall, Hundreds Trapped Overnight as Police Search.
A 20-year-old man wearing a motorcycle helmet and dressed in all black walked into a busy New Jersey mall minutes before it closed Monday night and began shooting, sending terrified customers running and trapping hundreds more in the building overnight as police searched for him.
Hours later, he was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in a remote area of the 2.2 million-square-foot building, officials said Tuesday morning.
No one was injured in the gunfire at Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus. The gunman, identified as Richard Shoop, fired six rounds, striking an elevator, escalator and several store facades about 9:30 p.m. Monday. He was using a Sig Sauer rifle modified to look like an AK-47 that he stole from his brother earlier in the day, officials said.
UPDATE II: The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office issued a statement shortly after midnight confirming that a “single male” had entered the mall at 9:19 p.m. and fired several shots. Tedesco said a shell casing had been recovered.
New Jersey mall gunman found dead hours after shooting – VIDEO, CNN
UPDATE III: New Jersey mall gunman found dead … suicide
The gunman who opened fire at a New Jersey mall Monday night is dead after holing up in a back room at the mall and shooting himself in the head, a local prosecutor said.
Richard Shoop’s body was found at 3:20 a.m. Tuesday in an obscure part of Westfield Garden State Plaza mall, hours after he fired at least six bullets without striking anyone in the massive shopping center.
The shooting sent panic through the mall and set off a frenzied hunt for the gunman. In the early hours of the search, officials weren’t sure whether the shooter was still inside or outside the 2-million-square-foot building.
“We believe that he went in there with the intent to either be shot by police, which we call suicide by cop, or to take his own life, which ultimately he did,” Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said Tuesday morning.
UPDATE IV: Richard Shoop had a drug history, but that there was no early indication why he carried out the shooting.
Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg of the Paramus police said that Shoop had stolen the weapon, a gun modified to look like an AK-47, from his brother. He used it to kill himself, said John Molinelli, the Bergen County prosecutor.
Molinelli said that Shoop had a drug history, but that there was no early indication why he carried out the shooting.
Remember when cowards who wanted to commit suicide did just did so in the shelter and privacy of their own home, out of the media spotlight? Not anymore, many seem to want to go out in a blaze of glory. However, thankfully no one was hurt in this incident except the gunman, 20 year old Richard Shoop.
What this does expose thought is that malls are incredibly soft targets for terrorism.