The shooter who opened gunfire at the Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus, New Jersey on Monday evening is dead, according to a CNN report on Tuesday morning. The body of the shooter was discovered at 3:20 a.m. ET on Tuesday morning in a back area of the mall. The shooter had a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The incident began six hours earlier when the gunman apparently fired gunshots at security cameras in the mall at 9:20 p.m. ET on Monday. Those in the mall scurried frantically for cover as the mall was locked down.
Arriving by some-20 police vehicles, an army of police personnel evacuated the mall and then swarmed the area to search for the shooter. The gunman shot at least six rounds from a modified rifle, apparently at random and without hitting anyone, according to John Molinelli who is the Bergen County Prosecutor.
Authorities have identified the gunman as Richard Shoop, 20, who had a history of drug abuse.
Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall is one of the largest malls in the New York City area, about 12 miles from Manhattan. There are about 300 stores in the huge facility.