Four people were dead, including the suspected shooter, after a man with a long gun entered a mall south of Indianapolis and opened fire, police said.
Two others were injured in the early evening attack at Greenwood Park Mall, Jim Ison, the police chief of Greenwood, Indiana, said at a Sunday night news conference. One remained hospitalized, he said. A 12-year-old girl with abrasions was treated and released.
Four of six people who were injured or killed were female, Ison said.
The shooter appeared to have been fatally shot by a 22-year-old "good Samaritan" who witnessed the attack and opened fire with a handgun with the intention of ending the assault, Ison said.
He praised the young man, identifying him only as being from Bartholomew County, south of the metro area.
"The real hero of the day was the Samaritan that was lawfully carrying a firearm who was able to stop the shooter almost as soon as it began," Ison said.
Greenwood Mayor Mark W. Myers also praised the “Good Samaritan” who stepped in, saying in a statement Sunday evening, “This person saved lives tonight.”
“On Behalf of the City of Greenwood, I am grateful for his quick action and heroism in this situation.”
The shooter appeared to be at the mall with ill intentions, Ison said.
"It appears that he had a rifle with several magazines of ammunition, entered the food court, and began shooting," the chief said of the suspected gunman.
The gunfire was reported shortly after 6 p.m., Ison said. The chief gave no indication the shooter knew any of the victims or that the attack was personal.
"This type of situation is horrible," he said. "It’s rocked us to our core."
Ty Stroub, 38, of Indianapolis, was at the mall Sunday, about 300 feet away from the food court, when he started to hear screaming and saw a stampede of people running over each other.
“I saw people pushing past each other and running as fast as they could. So as soon as I saw that, I didn’t waste any time. I took off running,” he told NBC News.
In the chaos he heard someone say, “shooter, shooter,” but didn't hear any shots himself.
“I basically ran like the wind. I told everybody around me with the little bit of breath that I had, ‘They said there’s a shooter, there’s a shooter. Go, go go,’” he recalled.
Stroub said, “I’ve never been that scared in my life.”
He successfully got back to his car and police and ambulances arrived minutes later.
“Something you never think you would actually witness, seems like it’s crazy, as the times are getting that we should all kind of have our head on a swivel and be ready for whatever,” Stroub said.
The motive and circumstances of the shooting are under investigation, Ison said.
Officers, including members of the Indianapolis department's SWAT team, went through the mall Sunday night to ensure no one injured was hiding or otherwise in need of help, an officer with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said.
A backpack that police believe was left by the gunman in a bathroom turned out not to be a threat, he said.
Greenwood Park Mall condemned the shooting Monday saying, "Violence has no place in this or any other community."
"We grieve for the victims of yesterday’s horrific tragedy in Greenwood," the statement said. "We are grateful for the strong response of the first responders, including the heroic actions of the Good Samaritan who stopped the suspect."
The mall will be closed Monday.
Mike Pence, who served as Indiana’s governor from 2013 to 2017 and vice president under Donald Trump, said Monday morning, “Our prayers are with the fallen and injured.” He praised the citizen who stopped the shooter as a “Hoosier Hero.”
Three hours after the Greenwood Park Mall shooting, another person was killed and three wounded when gunfire erupted at Don Challis Park, just 7 miles south in another Indianapolis suburb, Beech Grove.
“Our Beech Grove EMS, which I think is the best, believe it or not, was not available for this incident because our ambulances were down helping people at the Greenwood Mall,” Mayor Dennis Buckley told reporters on Monday. “We don’t pick and choose, we help.”
Beech Grove authorities thanked first responders from other neighboring communities for filling in the gap on Sunday night.
CORRECTION (July 18, 2022, 8:30 a.m. ET): A previous version of this article misspelled the last name and had an incorrect age for a witness. He is Ty Stroub, 38, not Ty Straub, 35.