Police Searching For Gunman After Shots Fired In N.J. Mall
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Police were searching for a shooter after witnesses say shots were fired inside the Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus, N.J. Monday night. Hundreds of law enforcement officers converged on the mall to secure the area.
Updated 5:05 a.m. Tuesday:
Authorities say a man suspected of firing multiple shots and causing a lockdown at New Jersey's largest shopping mall has been found dead of a self-inflicted wound, according to The Associated Press. Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli says the body of 20-year-old Richard Shoop of Teaneck was found in a back area of the Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus early Tuesday. He says Shoop killed himself with the same weapon he used at the mall and that a note has been found. There were no other injuries.
Updated at 3:40 a.m. Tuesday:
Authorities have locked down the 2.2-million-quare-foot mall and continue to search for the suspect. No weapon has been recovered yet. Police have been evacuating any employees or shoppers who were still in the building. Officials at the mall say it will be closed on Tuesday.
Update at 11:50 p.m.:
Celebrity Rabbi Shmuley Boteach was apparently in the mall with his wife and children when the incident occurred and has been posting on Twitter his account of what he saw:
Update at 11:22 p.m.:
In a brief news conference, Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera said police were conducting a store-by-store sweep and escorting people out of the mall as they search for the gunman.
LaBarbiera confirms the police did find one shell casing. So far no suspect has been found, but the mayor says they are no longer treating it as an active shooter situation.
Our original post continues:
Several news agencies are reporting that police are actively searching for what they say is a gunman at a mall in Northern New Jersey.
Witnesses have told CNN they heard what sounded like gunshots inside the Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus around 9:30 p.m. Monday. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
One witness told NorthJersey.com she was in a clothing store when she saw a man walk by and then heard three shots followed by two more, reports the Associated Press. She said he appeared to be wearing body armor and was wearing a helmet with the visor pulled up.
The mall is on lockdown as police continue to search for the alleged shooter.
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