Garden State Mall Shooting

November 5, 2013 by  

Garden State Mall Shooting, Hours after a volley of shots were fired in Garden State Plaza, trapping customers and store workers for hours as police searched for the gunman, the suspect was found dead inside a construction zone within the mall, authorities said this morning.

There was no indication when he died, but officials said it appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the head from a rifle.

Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli identified the suspect as Richard Shoop, 20, of Teaneck, who he called a known drug abuser who may have had a criminal record and was unemployed. A house in Teaneck believed to be

his home was raided overnight by police and the FBI. But cell phone records suggested the suspect never left the mall.

According to Molinelli, Shoop had gone to the mall with the intention of dying, either through suicide or being shot by police. He said they did not believe Shoop had any intention to hurt anyone else, nothing that several witnesses said he had the opportunity to kill them, but that he never raised his rifle against them.

“The main motive for what he did tonight was suicide, whether self-inflicted or suicide-by-cop,” he said.

Molinelli said the gunman fired at least six rounds in the mall. He identified the weapon as a .22-caliber assault-style rifle, legally owned by Shoop’s brother, and that Shoop had taken it without permission. No one other than Shoop was injured. He was found shot to death at about 3:20 a.m., wearing a black motorcycle helmet and jeans. The body was found in a non-retail area not typically accessed by the public, where construction materials were being stored.

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