GREENWOOD, Ind. — The 22-year-old now being called a hero for shooting and killing the gunman who fired into the food court at the Greenwood Park Mall on Sunday was not the only civilian carrying a gun that day.
Authorities said the gunman waited in a bathroom closest to the mall's food court for a little over an hour before carrying out the mass shooting.
Victor Gomez, 30, was entering that bathroom right as the shooter was coming out, according to police.
Gomez was the first victim shot and killed, despite also being armed with a handgun.
“Never had a chance to use his weapon,” said Greenwood Police Chief Jason Ison.
The shooter would go on to fire some 20 more rounds into the crowd.
Within 15 seconds from when the shooting began, armed bystander Elisjsha Dicken fired on the shooter from 40 yards away, according to police. The shooter tried to retreat into the bathroom, but collapsed and died.
Dicken has not yet spoken with the media about the shooting. However, his lawyer, Guy A. Relford, released a statement on Monday that said Dicken is waiting to speak about the shooting to respect the lives lost and the police investigation.
The full statement can be read here:
"I am proud to serve as Eli Dicken's attorney and spokesperson. He is a true American hero who saved countless lives during a horrific event that could have been so much worse if not for Eli's courage, preparedness and willingness to protect others. Because we want to respect the ongoing criminal investigation by the Greenwood Police Department and take time to honor the three innocent lives lost, we won't be making any substantive comments on Sunday's events until after the authorities' investigation is closed. In the interim, we ask that you respect the privacy of Eli and his family."
On Wednesday, Relford tweeted that Dicken 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.
An autopsy found the shooter was shot eight times and none were self-inflicted.
Gomez was killed along with 56-year-old Pedro Pineda, and his wife 37-year-old Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda.