Police search for answers after 2 shootings in Indianapolis, Ind., over the weekend
JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:
Police in a suburb of Indianapolis say the three people killed by a man with a rifle at the Greenwood Park Mall yesterday all had Latino surnames. But it is not clear if they were targeted because of their ethnicity. And they also say a bystander saved many lives by using the handgun that he was carrying to shoot and kill the man with the rifle.
Joining us now is reporter Katrina Pross with member station WFYI in Indianapolis. Hi there.
KATRINA PROSS, BYLINE: Hi. Good afternoon.
SUMMERS: Katrina, what do we know about the man with the rifle who started shooting?
PROSS: Yeah. So police say he was a 20-year-old white male who lived alone. And at this point, there's nothing to indicate a motive or that he was part of any group. They've interviewed members of his family, who say they were just as surprised as anyone that he would do something like this. They say he had multiple weapons that he legally purchased himself. And he fired 24 rounds of ammunition.
SUMMERS: You said that police say nothing to indicate a motive - anything on social media or internet data that would indicate he had a reason to seek out victims or to be a mass shooter?
PROSS: No, not at this point. Police say he doesn't appear to have a presence on social media, but the investigation is being slowed by the fact that the shooter tried to destroy both his cellphone and a laptop. They say he was in a bathroom at the mall for more than an hour before he started shooting, and he dropped a cellphone in a toilet there. Police are trying to recover data from the phone and the laptop.
SUMMERS: OK. So what do we know about the bystander at that mall who shot the man with the rifle?
PROSS: Yeah. So he's a 22-year-old from Seymour, Ind., named Elisjsha Dicken. And he was shopping at the mall with his girlfriend. Police say he used the handgun he was carrying to kill the man with the rifle about two minutes after the shooting started. Here's Greenwood Police Chief Jim Ison.
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JIM ISON: Many more people would have died last night if not for a responsible armed citizen that took action very quickly within the first two minutes of this shooting.
PROSS: Police praised Dicken's skill as a shooter and said he fired 10 rounds from his 9mm Glock handgun. They say he had no police or military background, and they say it was legal for Dicken to have his pistol on him at the mall after the constitutional carry law that Indiana's legislature passed earlier this year. It's only been in effect since July 1, and it passed over the opposition of several police departments and organizations. So far, Dicken has not made any public statements or comments.
SUMMERS: Katrina, what comes next in this investigation?
PROSS: Yeah. So police are trying to recover data from the cellphone that the shooter dropped in a toilet at the mall before he started killing people and from a laptop they found at his apartment, which was left in an oven at a high temperature with a can of butane next to it.
SUMMERS: OK. And lastly, what do we know about the shooting victims, the people who died there at that mall?
PROSS: Yeah. So we know that two were a married couple, Pedro Pineda and Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda, aged 56 and 37, and Victor Gomez, who was 30 years old. All three of them lived in Indianapolis, but we don't know any more about them at this point.
SUMMERS: All right. That is WFYI's Katrina Pross. Thank you for your reporting.
PROSS: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.