GREENWOOD — A gunman who shot five people at a suburban Indianapolis shopping mall, killing three of them before a shopper shot and killed him, was a 20-year-old local man who was apparently facing eviction, authorities said Monday.
Greenwood police identified the victims of a shooting at Greenwood Park Mall as Pedro Pineda, 56, and his wife, 37-year-old Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda, and 30-year-old Victor Gomez.
Police identified the shooter as Jonathan Douglas Sapirman, 20, of Greenwood, who was pronounced deceased at the scene in the mall, killed by a “Good Samaritan” who was carrying a gun in the mall food court. Sapirman had a juvenile record, police said.
“His past incidents include offenses as a juvenile, such as a fight at school and being a juvenile runaway. He does not drive. We believe that he walked to the Greenwood Park Mall last night,” Greenwood Police Chief Jim Ison said.
Police identified the Good Samaritan as Elisjsha “Eli” Dicken of Seymour, not Bartholomew County as previously announced. Dicken was shopping at the mall with his girlfriend when the shooting occurred, police said.
In a timeline provided by Greenwood police, investigators said Sapirman entered the mall at 4:54 p.m. Sunday and went to the food court restroom, where he stayed for about an hour before leaving the restroom and shooting Gomez near the restroom.
Then Sapirman shot and killed the Pineda couple, who were having dinner in the food court, and also wounded a 22-year-old woman in the food court in the leg. A bullet fragment hit a 12-year-old as she was fleeing to outside the mall, police said.
At 5:57 p.m., Dicken confronted the shooter near the food court restroom area with a pistol while motioning for people to go the opposite direction behind him, police said. Dicken fired several rounds at Sapirman, who attempted to retreat to the restroom and then fell to the ground.
When Sapirman arrived at the mall, he had three guns, a Sig Sauer Model M400 5.56-caliber rifle, purchased in March, an M&P 5.56mm rifle, purchased in March 2021, and a Glock 33 pistol. He also had more than 100 rounds of ammunition, Ison said.
The gun used in the shooting was the Sig Sauer rifle, Ison said.
After Sapirman entered the mall, he walked into a bathroom, where he spent about an hour before he emerged and opened fire. Investigators theorize Sapirman spent that time preparing and possibly assembling a disassembled rifle that he had brought in his backpack. He ended up firing 24 rounds within 2 minutes, according to investigators.
Ison said Sapirman used one rifle in the shooting, but in the mall bathroom, investigators recovered a second rifle and a pistol. Police determined there were 24 rifle rounds fired, and then 10 rounds fired by Dicken.
Although authorities said Dicken was legally armed, the mall prohibits people from carrying weapons on its property.
As of July 1, Indiana law allows anyone age 18 or older to carry a handgun in public except for those prohibited for reasons such as having a felony conviction, facing a restraining order or having a dangerous mental illness as determined by a court. Indiana’s Republican-dominated Legislature retained provisions in the law that allow private property owners to prohibit firearms.
Sapirman had been practicing shooting at Range USA in Greenwood for the past two years, purchasing the guns in Greenwood.
Police said Dicken’s actions were “nothing short of heroic,” in that he had no police or military training prior to confronting the shooter.
Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. confirmed Monday that Dicken is a 2018 graduate of Columbus Signature Academy New Tech.
BCSC officials released this statement about Dicken: “BCSC has been made aware that the citizen involved with interrupting the shooting at Greenwood Park Mall last night was Eli Dicken, a 2018 CSA New Tech graduate. We are grateful that Eli was able to distract the shooter from taking any more lives than occurred. We are also sorry that Eli had to be involved in such a tragic incident and offer our condolences to the families who lost loved ones.”
Police said Bartholomew County 911 emergency center received about 50 calls routed to them from Johnson County as individuals inside the mall called for help after the shooting. Two Bartholomew County sheriff deputies who were heading into work from north of Taylorsville were immediately dispatched to Greenwood to assist investigators, Sheriff Matt Myers said.
Sapirman resigned from a warehouse position in May, and police were serving a subpoena in Greenwood at his residence on Monday to determine if he was being evicted but had not come up with any motive relating directly to the shooting, investigators said at the press conference.
Police said they conducted a search of Sapirman’s home at Polo Run Apartments in Greenwood, where the oven was found to be on at a high temperature with a laptop and a can of butane inside it.
Mark Myers, the mayor of Greenwood, a city of roughly 60,000 people just south of Indianapolis, said the grieving community is shocked to be the scene of a mass shooting.
“I don’t want to be among the mayors that has to share these statements. But sadly, I am,” he said. “I grieve for these senseless killings, and I ache for the scars that are left behind on the victims and on our community.”