Indiana mall shooting witness praised for killing gunman

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GREENWOOD, Ind., July 18 (Reuters) – A 22-year-old bystander who witnessed a fatal shooting this weekend at a mall near Indianapolis was hailed a hero on Monday for killing the shooter and limited the number of casualties in the massacre.

Local officials said the ‘good Samaritan’ – a man who legally carried a gun – arrested the shooter almost as soon as the suspect opened fire in the Greenwood Park Mall food court in Greenwood, Indiana on Sunday. , outside of Indianapolis.

Besides the shooter, who had a rifle and several magazines of ammunition, three people were killed and two others injured.

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“We know someone we call a ‘good Samaritan’ was able to shoot the assailant and stop further bloodshed. That person saved lives tonight,” Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers said. in a press release. “I am grateful for his speed of action and his heroism.”

The motive for the shooting is not yet known, Greenwood Police Chief Jim Ison said Sunday, without releasing the names of the victims, shooter or bystanders. There were four female victims and one male victim. One of the victims was a 12-year-old girl.

“Lives were lost today, and I am thinking of all the victims of this horrific incident, now and in the days and weeks to come,” Holcomb tweeted.

Federal and local authorities searched the alleged shooter’s apartment early Monday, a Fox News affiliate in Indianapolis.

A spate of gun violence in public places since May, including mass shootings at a New York grocery store, a Texas elementary school and an Illinois Independence Day parade, has rekindled fierce debate in the states States on the regulation of firearms.

Gun rights advocates will likely seize on the suspect’s killing in Indiana as an example of why allowing Americans to carry guns is important.

“We’ll say it again: The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” the National Rifle Association said in a Tweet Monday morning.

It’s rare for a bystander to stop a mass shooting in the United States, according to a New York Times analysis. The newspaper showed that only 22 gunmen in the 433 shootings since 2000 were shot by a bystander.

The incident also raises questions about the interplay between state law and the rights of corporations and businesses to ban guns on their properties.

The shooting comes just weeks after Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed a bill repealing the state’s handgun license requirement. Now, anyone 18 or older who is not prohibited by law from owning a firearm can generally carry a concealed handgun in public.

The law conflicts with the policy of Simon Property Group, the owner of Greenwood Park Mall, which prohibits guns on its properties, according to its website. The Indianapolis-based company was unavailable for comment Monday.

According to Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, private businesses and property owners can prevent gun owners from carrying a gun on their property.

Even so, it’s generally not illegal to ignore a ‘no guns’ sign at a private business, he wrote in the state’s gun owners’ bill of rights. before the weekend shooting.

Rokita said the only consequence of ignoring a business ban can only come after a direct warning to a person carrying a firearm on the property: “You can commit criminal trespass to enter a business after you have been refused entry or asked to leave”. the bill of rights reads.

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Reporting by Cheney Orr in Greenwood, Indiana, and Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Editing by Alistair Bell

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