By MICHAEL CONROY Associated Press
GREENWOOD, Ind. (AP) — Three people were fatally shot and two were injured, including a 12-year-old girl, at an Indiana 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 on Sunday evening with a rifle and several magazines of ammunition and began firing in the food court, Greenwood Police Department Chief Jim Ison said.
The three people who died were in addition to the man with the rifle. The identity of the gunman and a possible motive weren’t immediately known.
A 22-year-old from nearby Bartholomew County who was legally carrying a firearm at the mall shot and killed the gunman, Ison said at a news conference.
“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.
The mass shooting was just the latest to unnerve Americans in 2022. Schools, churches, grocery stores and a July Fourth parade in Highland Park, Illinois, have all become killing grounds in recent months. Still, the reality of America’s staggering murder rate can often be seen more clearly in individual deaths that rarely make the news.
Officers went to the mall at about 6 p.m. for reports of the shooting. Four of those hit by gunfire were females and one was a male, Ison said. He didn’t immediately know the gender or ages of those who were killed. The 12-year-old girl and the other injured person were in stable condition, he said.
Police confiscated a suspicious backpack that was in a bathroom near the food court, Ison said.
A news conference with authorities was scheduled for Monday afternoon to provide updates.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police and multiple other agencies were assisting in the investigation.
“We are sickened by yet another type of incident like this in our country,” Indianapolis Assistant Chief of Police Chris Bailey said.
There was no threat to the area Sunday night, authorities said.
Greenwood is a south suburb of Indianapolis with a population of about 60,000. Mayor Mark Myers asked for “prayers to the victims and our first responders.”
“This tragedy hits at the core of our community,” Myers said in a statement.
Greenwood Park Mall said in a statement that its grieves for the victims and praised first responders as well as the “heroic actions” of the 22-year-old who police said fatally shot the gunman. The mall was closed Monday.
“Violence has no place in this or any other community,” the mall said.