Garden State Plaza reopens following shooting

Garden State Plaza reopens following shooting

Posted: Updated:
Richard Schoop, 20, of Teaneck pictured on ExploreTalent.com Richard Schoop, 20, of Teaneck pictured on ExploreTalent.com
NEW JERSEY (MYFOXNY.COM) - Police officials in New Jersey say the man who opened fire at the Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus on Monday night is dead. The gunman has been identified as Richard Schoop, 20, of Teaneck.

Hundreds of people were trapped in the mall for hours as hundreds of police officers scoured every store looking for the shooter.  Schoop was found dead of a self-inflicted wound at approximately 3:20 a.m. on Tuesday, according to authorities.

The incident reportedly started about 9:30 p.m. when police received several 9-1-1 calls from the expansive mall at Routes 4 and 17.

The gunman reportedly wore all-black and had a rifle.  One witness told Fox 5 News that the gunman was wearing a body suit and helmet and was strolling through the mall shooting into the air.

The entire parking lot was filled with responding police cars on the north end of the mall that is anchored by Nordstrom. Video from SkyFoxHD showed people running from the mall at around 10 p.m.

By 11 p.m. authorities said that it was no longer an active shooter situation but they were still combing the mall and evacuating people from inside the building.

A worker at a Joe's American restaurant in the mall tells Fox 5 News he heard shots and mall security told staff to lock the doors. But, Eduardo Bermudez says everyone started running from the restaurant into the parking lot.

A witness who was leaving a movie theater at the mall told Fox 5 News that she say people running from the mall and then heard at least 4 shots.  She said the shots were in the area of the Apple store on the second floor.

Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera told Fox 5 News in a live interview that only one shot had been confirmed and that only one shell casing had been found inside the building but a county official later said that multiple shots had been fired.

Authorities, at first, said that they had believed the shooter had left the mall but his location was unknown.  The mall remained on lockdown for hours and authorities said that many patrons were still inside the building.

The gunman's family addressed reporters outside the family home in Teaneck on Tuesday morning.

"This was something that none of us saw coming. We're not exactly (sure) what caused him to do this," said Kevin Schoop. My brother intended to harm nobody else but himself."



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