A NJ mall shooting has several New Jersey residents on edge. The terrifying event left only one person injured -- the gunman himself. On Nov. 5, the Associated Press reported that a 20-year-old male went into the Garden State Plaza just before closing time. Clearly on a suicide mission, the gunman began firing off shots, causing mall goers and employees to take cover for hours as police searched for him.
Police found Richard Shoop of Teaneck dead with a self-inflicted gun shot wound. Evidently police in the area knew Shoop and said that he had a drug problem. He left a note behind with his family that references "the end" and his family reached out to authorities just before the mall incident. He was found with a gun that belonged to his brother.
The NJ mall shooting, though frightening for several people, could have been far worse. Thankfully no one was injured. Reports of shots fired were reported around 9:30 p.m. but Shoop's body was not found until 3:20 a.m. According to the report, his bloodied body was discovered on a lower mall level in a back hallway accessible only to employees of the mall. Police are not sure how he got there or why he chose to die there.
"I had to go out of the store shouting at the officers with my hands up, and they turned and pointed their guns at me. It was one of the scariest experiences of my life," recalled Lego Store employee Nick Woods.
The NJ mall shooting at the Garden State Plaza is another sign that these shooting rampages can and will happen anywhere. The Garden State Plaza is the largest mall in New Jersey and it's in a very nice area. One would never think that such a thing would happen -- and again, this could have easily been a blood bath.
© Effie Orfanides 2013