New Jersey mall gunfire: As it happened

The television visuals showed a thick police presence outside the mall.

By Supriya Jha | Updated: Nov 05, 2013, 17:19 PM IST

3: 40 pm: Gunman had the opportunity to kill people, but he didn`t: Police

A tinge of praise for the gunman was evident in the police`s statement when he said that the gunman could shoot at people, but he avoided to harm anyone and instead fired at elevators, stores and the cameras.
No mall employees or the customer were harmed as the gunman chose not to fire at people.

3: 30 pm: `Main motive of the gunman was suicide`

The gunman`s main motive behind entire mall gunfire saga staged by him was, suicide, prosecutor said.

"We believe the motive was suicide -- either self inflicted, or, God forbid, or suicide by cop," Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said in the press conference.

However, he appeared dubious about the idea that the gunman wanted the police to kill him as he killed himself in a very secluded area at the back of the mall.

3: 20 pm: Note written by the gunman recovered

Police say that they have recovered a note written by the gunman from his home in Teaneck. The details of the note are yet to be released.

3: 10 pm: Mall gunman had a history of drug abuse: Police

The twenty year old Richard Shoop, who killed himself inside the mall, had a history of drug abuse, police said.. The police mentioned one specific drug named MDMA while referring to the shooter.

MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine) is an empathogenic drug also known as "ecstacy". The drug is known to have severe impact on the human brain and body.

3: 00 pm: Shooter found dead inside mall: Police

The massive manhunt for the Grand State Plaza Mall shooter came to an end when he was found dead inside the mall, the police said in a press conference held at around 4 am on Tuesday morning.
The press conference was hed by Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli and Paramus Police Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg.

The body of the suspect named Richard Shoop was found at 3: 20 am from back area of the mall, said the police.

02:00 pm: No trace of the mall shooter yet

Even as the FBI SWAT and State police continued combing the malls store by store, there was no word on the whereabouts of the suspected shooter identified as Richard Shoop. Early on Tuesday morning, the police also raided the suspect`s house in Teaneck.

01:20 pm: Mall to remain closed on Tuesday

Enlisting the instructions to be followed for the mall visitors, the Paramus Police released a statement informing that the mall would remain closed on Tuesday.

12:50 pm: Suspect`s house in Teaneck raided

Having identified a prelimin suspect as Richard Shoop, the police officials donning SWAT gear raided his house at Emerson Avenue in Teaneck in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, reported a local news website

The house is owned by Barbara and Charles Shoop.

Also Read: Gunfire at New Jersey shopping mall, hunt on for shooter

The report added that the authorities believe that the gunman might still be near the mall campus.

12:30: Suspect identified

Law enforcement officials have identified the mall shooter as a 20 year old Richard Shoop, who lives in Teaneck and is employed at a restaurant there, reported The Star-Ledger, an online news agency of New Jersey.

12:00 pm: `Shooter was talking to himself`

One of the witnesses told a local newspaper The Record that the gunman was "strutting by" and "talking to himself" as he fired rounds.

11:40 am: Stay away from the mall: Police warn public

The Paramus Police released a statement requesting people to stay away from the Westfield Grand State Plaza.

11:00 am: New Jersey mall gunfire related to elections?

The gunfire at the Grand State Plaza Mall comes just a day before the voters of New Jersey are set to elect a Governor and members of the State Legislature, and decide two proposed constitutional amendments.

10:40 am: `He looked at me and kept on walking`

As of now, nothing can be suspected about the shooter`s intention as he did not reportedly harm anyone. The Mayor has said that there were no injuries reported so far.

LA Times quoted a witness named Althea Brown, who was at a clothing store when she saw him cross by, as saying, "He looked at me and kept on walking," she said. She said that the man had visor of his helmet pulled up as he walked.

10:20 am: Shooter fired into air, not at people

At leats two witnesses told the media channels and other news agencies that they saw the shooter firing into the air, not at people.

The witnesses also said that the shooter was wearing a helmet and having a long rifle and wearing black.

10:00 am: Entire mall under lockdown

Authorities have put the entire Garden State Plaza mall under lockdown. The mall has been evacuated and over 100 stores are under lockdown, NJ Police said.

9:50 am: Gunman might have left the mall, believes Mayor

The mayor of Paramus, Richard Labarbierar says that the shooter might have left the mall, reported the CNN. The Mayor added that only one shell casing was said to be found at the mall. There were no further gunshots heard and no injuries have been reported yet.

9:40 am: SWAT officers doing a store by store search

FBI`s Special Weapons and Tactics Teams has joined the search for the shooter and they have started a store-by-store sweep of the mall, but of no avail so far. The New Jersey Police confirm that at least one shooter is present inside the mall.

9:35 am: Shooters still at large: County official

The CNN cited Bergen County officials as saying that the gunman was still roaming free inside the mall even as a huge swathe of police was present outside the mall.

9:30 am: Gunman firing shots at security cameras: Police

New Jersey State Police say that at least one shooter was inside the mall and was firing at security cameras, the CNN reported. The mall has been evacuated after the gunshots.
9:20 am: Shooter dressed in black, wearing body armour Witnesses

A mall worker, who reportedly had a short glimpse of the shooter, told the CNN that he was wearing all black. Another witness said that the gunman apparently donned body armor.

According to another mall worker, the shooting began near the Nordstrom’s department store on the second level of the mall.

9:00 am: Gunfire heard inside the mall

Multiple gunshots separated by seconds were heard from inside the Westfield Garden State Plaza mall. Witnesses heard three to eight rounds of fire. People were seen running out of the mall in panic.

"We were about to close for the night and we started hearing loud bangs. Everyone started running," mall employee Ally Kozik told CNN.