Authorities cited Elisjsha Dicken, 22, on July 18 as the individual who stopped Jonathan Sapirman, 20, from killing more people at the Greenwood Mall in Greenwood, Indiana. Sapirman was shooting people at the mall's food court on July 17 and had already killed three people. Dicken's quick thinking and reflexes put a close to the perpetrator a mere two minutes after the mass shooter started firing, thanks to the pistol he was legally carrying.
According to city officials and law enforcement, Dicken himself had authorized them to release his name to the public. James Ison, chief of the Greenwood Police Department, said he believes the 22-year-old's actions saved many lives.
"His actions were nothing short of heroic. He engaged the gunman from quite a distance with a handgun. [Dicken] was very proficient in that, [and] very tactically sound," Ison said during a July 18 news conference. "As he moved to close in on the suspect, he was also motioning for people to exit behind him."
Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers confirmed in a Facebook post that four people died during the July 17 shooting incident, including Sapirman himself. The shooter's victims were 30-year-old Victor Gomez, 56-year-old Pedro Pineda and 37-year-old Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda – with the latter two a married couple. Myers also confirmed two injuries – a 22-year-old woman shot in the leg and a 12-year-old girl who was struck with a bullet fragment.
"We are very thankful for a young 22-year-old man who stopped this violent act," Myers said. "This young man – Greenwood's good Samaritan – acted within second, stopping the shooter and saving countless lives."
"Many more people would have died, if not for a responsible armed citizen that took action very quickly," said the police chief. The mayor agreed, adding that city and the Hoosier State are "grateful" for the heroism Dicken exhibited.
Even though Ison remarked that Dicken "has no police training or military background," the 22-year-old's posts on social media reflected his respect toward the right to keep and bear arms enshrined in the Constitution.
One post from 2013 Dicken shared had a photo of a mother training her young daughter to aim a pistol. The picture's caption read: "Teach your daughters to shoot, because a restraining order is just a piece of paper." The caption also encouraged others to share the picture if they believe women "should be able to protect themselves."
A post from May 2014 Dicken shared featured an armed military service member with the caption: "The reasons terrorists can't sleep at night, and the reason you can." His Facebook cover photo, meanwhile, featured a military patch that had the saying: "Arms are the only true badge of liberty."
An instance similar to that of Dicken occurred back in May, when a woman legally armed with a pistol stopped a mass shooter. She managed to prevent Dennis Butler, 37, from killing dozens of individuals who were attending a party at an apartment complex in Charleston, West Virginia. Butler was admonished against speeding in the area as children were present, which prompted him to fetch a rifle in retaliation and shoot at dozens of people attending the party.
Instead of waiting for police officers to arrive, the armed woman quickly drew her handgun, killing the 37-year-old. (Related: Mass shooting stopped by law-abiding woman carrying concealed handgun.)
Tony Hazelett, chief of detectives at the Charleston Police Department, told reporters during a press conference: "There was a graduation party … and another birthday party. We could have had a casualty shooting there."
"Instead of running from the threat, she engaged with the threat and saved several lives," he remarked, adding that no charges will be filed against the woman who stopped Butler from his shooting spree.
Watch this Fox News report about Dicken's actions that put an end to the Greenwood Mall shooting.
This video is from the SecureLife channel on Brighteon.com.