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The Crazed Gunman Terrorizing a New Jersey Mall is Dead
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A crazed gunman who terrorized a northern New Jersey mall is dead. On Monday night the man roamed the halls of the mall while firing his gun into the air. No mall customers or employees were hurt by the crazed gun shooter. He was identified by police as 20 year old Richard Shoop of Teaneck, N.J.

Shoop came to Garden State Plaza in Paramus at around 9:20 pm on Monday. He shot at security cameras, and he shot into the air several times, all while roaming around the shopping center. According to Bergen County prosecutor John Molinelli, he took his own life and shot himself early Tuesday morning. The NY Times commented, “His body was found by the authorities at 3:20 a.m. on Tuesday, very, very deep in an area that was under construction in the mall.”

  
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Shoop’s body was found with a gun that was modified to appear to be an AK-47 assault rifle. Prosecutor Molinelli commented that the weapon legally belonged to his brother. While the 20 year old fired 6 shots into the air and thousands fled the mall, no one was hurt. People ultimately locked themselves in their stores. The mall is closed today as well.

The parents of Richard Shoop are mourning and devastated. A family friend answered the phone at the Shoop residence and commented, “My dear friends lost their child to suicide. He never had any intention of hurting anyone. It was just a simple matter of his being depressed.”

Richard’s brother Kevin had heard about the shooting and found that his gun was missing. He then found the suicide note that was left in the home. Kevin immediately called the police so as to try and persuade his brother not to take his own life.

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Witnesses came close to Richard, and they claim that he had no interest in hurting people. Maria Rocha came “face-to-face” with Richard and she called her husband in a panic when she saw the large weapon that Shoop carried. She ran and hid, but noted that Richard never directed his weapon at her. “Early reports from witnesses suggested that he did not take any opportunities to inflict harm on the people in the mall. Instead witnesses describe seeing him shoot at security cameras or into the air.”



It is suspected that Richard wanted to “commit suicide by police,” which while sounding strange, would effectively force police to take his life. When no altercation with police happened, he took his own life. Police found the suicide note but did not comment on it. Shoop lived in a tree filled neighborhood with two other siblings and a family dog. Shoop had a colorful shoulder tattoo and drove a Nissan Z300X and often was found driving a motorbike with his friends. He is mourned by his family.

Image Credit: The New York Times



 

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