A gunman opened fire at Greenwood Park Mall on Sunday, killing three people and injuring two others before he was shot to death by a man police are calling a “good Samaritan,” Greenwood Police Chief James Ison said Sunday evening.
Officers from the Greenwood Police Department, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the Indiana State Police and other agencies rushed to the scene after shots were reported fired around 6 p.m.
“It’s horrible,” Ison said at press briefing near the mall after the shooting. “It’s rocked us to our core.”
Ison said an adult male walked into the food court carrying a rifle and several magazines of ammo and began shooting people before he was shot by a man identified as a 22-year-old from Bartholomew County, south of Greenwood.
“The real hero of the day is the citizen that was lawfully carrying a firearm in that food court and was able to stop the shooter almost as soon as he began,” Ison said.
On Monday morning, the Johnson County Coroner’s Office said two men were pronounced dead at the scene, and a woman and a man were pronounced dead at local hospitals.
Ison said Sunday night that a 12-year-old girl was one of the two people who were injured. Both of the injured victims were in stable condition, he said.
The City of Greenwood said a 2 p.m. press conference was scheduled for Monday at which officials would have further details about the incident, including identities of the victims.
Police confiscated a suspicious backpack that was in a bathroom near the food court and determined it contained no explosives. Ison declined to reveal the contents.
WXIN-TV Channel 59 reported Monday that the suspect’s apartment was raided overnight. Citing neighbors, the report said the raid included SWAT teams, the FBI and a bomb disposal unit.
Greenwood Park Mall, 1251 U.S. 31 N., is the second-largest indoor shopping center in Indiana with 1,288,000 square feet of retail space. Built in 1965, the mall has about 150 tenants.
A statement on the mall’s website said the the shopping center was closed on Monday and would reopen Tuesday at 11 a.m.
The mall has been the site of several gun-related incidents over the past several months.
Mall owner and landlord Simon Property Group said it planned to make security upgrades at the mall in February after two separate robberies in the parking lot in which the victims reported being held up at gunpoint.
In Late October, a man injured himself in an accidental shooting inside the mall.
In early November, Greenwood Police reported an accidental gun discharge involving a teen without a gun permit in the Macy’s parking lot. The teen was injured in the incident.
Simon Property Group has a blanket “Code of Conduct” policy that says no weapons are allowed at its properties. Nevertheless, a statement issued Monday morning by Greenwood Park Mall praised the man who stopped the shooter.
“We grieve for the victims of yesterday’s horrific tragedy in Greenwood,” the statement said. “Violence has no place in this or any other community. We are grateful for the strong response of the first responders, including the heroic actions of the good Samaritan who stopped the suspect.”
In the statement, the mall said it “has a strong relationship with the Greenwood Police Department and maintains an active and robust security program at the property.”
Those measures, it said, include:
- actively partnering with the FBI, PD and others to conduct training and education on incident response, including drills, tenant education and awareness. The most recent drill was June 2022.
- maintaining an active police and security presence on property at all times.
- utilizing closed-circuit TV cameras connected to the Simon Operational Intelligence Center.
- recently installing four license plate readers.
Automated license plate readers are an increasingly more common security device used by police departments and private property owners. The devices automatically send alerts to police when they identify license plates on vehicles that have been stolen or are owned by criminal suspects.