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GREENWOOD, Ind. (NewsNation) — Four people were fatally shot, including the suspected shooter, and two were injured Sunday evening at an Indiana mall after a man with a rifle opened fire in a food court. An armed civilian shot and killed the suspect, preventing further loss of life, police said.
The man entered the Greenwood Park Mall with a rifle and several magazines of ammunition and began firing in the food court, Greenwood Police Department Chief Jim Ison said.
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 “good Samaritan” is cooperating with the police investigation.
Four of those hit by gunfire were females and one was a male, Ison said. He didn’t immediately know the specific gender or age of those who were killed.
Ison said a 12-year-old girl was among the two injured, both of whom are in stable condition.
Law enforcement officers arrived at the mall shortly before 6 p.m. in response to reports of an active shooter.
“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.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police and multiple other agencies are assisting in the ongoing investigation.
“We are sickened by yet another type of incident like this in our country,” Indianapolis Assistant Chief of Police Chris Bailey said.
At a news conference Sunday evening, Ison said SWAT teams had finished clearing the mall and expected to be on scene through the early Monday morning hours. Police also confiscated a suspicious backpack that was in a bathroom near the food court, he said. Police say there were no explosive devices found in the backpack.
Authorities have not yet determined a motive for the shooting and have not released the identity of the shooter, who was male.
“This tragedy hits at the core of our community,” Mayor Mark Myers said in a statement. Myers said he was in direct contact with the scene as it was ongoing and asked the public if they had any information about the shooting, to report it to police immediately.
Greenwood is a south suburb of Indianapolis with a population of about 60,000. Myers asked for “prayers to the victims and our first responders.”
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.
“Violence has no place in this or any other community,” the mall said. The mall did not open for business Monday.
A news conference with be held Monday at 2 p.m. ET to release additional information.
This 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.
The Associated Press and WXIN contributed to this report.