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Indiana Mall Shooting - American Hero Ends the Carnage From 40 Yards Away

Credit: ABC News

The Skinny

Elisjsha Dicken (Eli) is an American hero. Why? Because he took out a gunman on July 17, 2002 who was attempting a mass shooting at Greenwood Park Mall that left three innocent people dead. Eli’s actions saved countless lives and prevented this tragedy from becoming a mass shooting.

The Backstory

Elisjsha Dicken was shopping with his fiancée while wearing shorts and a T-shirt on Sunday, July 17, 2022 evening when a shooter opened fire on a food court at a mall in Greenwood, Indiana, killing three people and injuring two more.

Eli did not hesitate to deploy the Glock handgun he was lawfully carrying while the gunman, 20-year-old Douglas Sapirman, fired 24 bullets from an AR-15-style rifle.

Sapirman began shooting from a restroom area into the mall's food court. Eli returned fire "from quite a distance with a handgun -- was very proficient in that, very tactically sound," Greenwood Police Chief James Ison said. As he moved in on the gunman, Eli motioned for people to leave behind him, the chief said.

Greenwood Police Chief James Ison stated at a press conference on Monday that "Many more people would have died last night if not for a responsible armed citizen that took action very quickly within the first two minutes of the shooting,"

Eli Dicken Stops Mass Shooting at Indiana Mall
Credit: WTHR

According to the police, Eli ended the fighting in about 15 seconds. But that's hardly the most striking feature.

Eli took down the mall shooter with lethal force, engaging the shooter at a distance of 40 yards, and made eight of ten hits on the shooter.

After the shooting, Eli "approached mall security and told them that he was the one that neutralized the shooter," and he waited for police to arrive, Ison said.

Police then took Eli to the station, where detectives interviewed him. His statements correlated with video from the scene, the chief said.

"He's a young man processing a lot," Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers said. "I ask that you give him space and time to be able to process what he's gone through."

"This young man, Greenwood's good Samaritan, acted within seconds, stopping the shooter and saving countless lives," Myers said. "Our city, our community and our state is grateful for his heroism in this situation."


Both the police and the community are calling him a hero. From our understanding, Eli had no police or military training; instead, he learned how to shoot from his grandfather. It's fortunate that Eli was present and prepared on Sunday, July 17, 2022, at the mall. Because if not, there may have been more fatalities than the two innocent victims. Eli had a license to carry a handgun, which was issued Aug. 4, 2021. However, Dicken did not need the license because “constitutional or permitless carry” became law in Indiana on July 1.

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Dragun Defense is an integrative defense firm based in North Carolina that specializes in self-defense training, weapon education, defense algorithms, and real-world analysis. We teach law-abiding citizens how to avoid, flee, or neutralize potentially lethal situations for the sake of their own safety and the safety of others.


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