While the shooter, 20-year-old Douglas Sapirman, fired 24 rounds from an AR-15-style rifle, Dicken didn’t hesitate to use the Glock handgun he legally carried. Sapirman was “incapacitated” within two minutes, police said.
“Many more people would have died last night if not for a responsible armed citizen who acted very quickly within the first two minutes of the shooting,” Greenwood Police Chief James Ison said at a press conference. Monday.
“‘Eli pushed me aside and told me to get down and stay down,'” Goldman told his grandmother by phone, according to WTHR.
“Everyone should be proud of him for what he did because otherwise there would have been a lot more,” said the grandmother, who the affiliate did not identify.
As Sapirman began firing from a restroom area in the mall’s food court, Dicken fired back “from afar with a handgun — was very proficient at that, very tactically sound,” said Iso. As he walked towards the shooter, Dicken waved people to leave behind, the chief said.
As far as investigators know, Dicken “has no police training and no military training,” Ison said. According to WTHR, Dicken’s grandfather taught him how to shoot.
What makes Dicken’s heroism perhaps even more remarkable is the fact that instances of an armed bystander attacking an active shooter are rare, according to data from Texas State University’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training.
There have been at least 434 active shooter attacks in the United States from 2000 to 2021, according to ALERRT data. Active shooter attacks were defined as those in which one or more shooters killed or attempted to kill multiple unrelated people in a populated location.
Of these 434 active shooter cases, an armed bystander shot the assailant in 22 of the incidents. In 10 of them, the “good guy” was a security guard or an off-duty police officer, according to ALERRT data.
The presence of armed persons at the scene who are not law enforcement personnel can create confusion and pose serious risks, according to an analysis of data published by The New York Times. An armed bystander who shot and killed an assailant in 2021 in Arvada, Colorado, for example, was himself shot dead by police who mistake him for the shooter, the Times reported.
Few other details have emerged about Dicken, and an attorney for the young man has asked the public to respect the privacy of Dicken and his family.
“Because we want to respect the ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by the Greenwood Police Department and take the time to honor the three innocent lives lost, we will not comment substantively on the events of Sunday until the close of the ‘investigation by the authorities,’ lawyer Guy said. A. Relford said in a statement to CNN.
After the shooting, Dicken “walked up to mall security and told them he was the one who took out the shooter,” and he waited for police to arrive, Ison said.
Police then took Dicken to the station, where detectives questioned him. His statements correlated with video from the scene, the chief said.
“He’s a young man who deals a lot,” Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers said. “I’m asking you to give him space and time so he can process what he’s been through.”
“This young man, the Good Samaritan of Greenwood, acted in seconds, stopping the shooter and saving countless lives,” Myers said. “Our city, our community and our state are grateful for his heroism in this situation.”
CNN’s Amir Vera, Artemis Mostaghian, Holly Yan and Jacqueline Rose contributed to this report.