What makes someone a hero? How about a Good Samaritan? Evidently, such questions are contentious.
And a Sunday incident has some insisting a brave bystander shouldn’t be celebrated.
Tragically, three were murdered: Victor Gomez, 30; and couple Rosa Rivera de Pineda, 37, and Pedro Pineda, 56. Two more were injured: a 20-year-old female shot in the leg; and a 12-year minorly wounded by a deflected bullet.
After entering the mall, Sapirman headed straight to the bathroom and was there for over an hour before exiting the bathroom and opening fire.
“The most puzzling piece…was the amount of time that he was in the bathroom,” [Chief James Ison] said. “We believe he was getting ready.”
But the man’s plans were thwarted because more than bad guys carry guns. Elisjsha Dicken, 22, stopped the mass shooter’s spree.
Footage…showed that Dicken shot 10 rounds from his handgun, while motioning for citizens at the mall to exit behind him.
Chief James has praised Elisjsha’s intervention:
“Many more people would have died last night if a responsible, armed citizen hadn’t been present…”
On Sunday evening, the chief compared Elisjsha to a biblical character. He did so again Monday:
“The shooter was confronted by our Good Samaritan. … The Good Samaritan was armed with a pistol and engaged the shooter as he stood outside the restroom area firing into the food court. [Elisjsha] fired several rounds, striking the suspect. The suspect attempted to retreat back into the restroom [but] fell to the ground after being shot.”
Does that sound like a hero to you? It doesn’t to a Bloomington traffic anchor. Murrow Award-winning journalist Justin Kollar was flabbergasted by the chief’s framing. He expressed his dismay in a tweet:
“The term ‘Good Samaritan’ came from a Bible passage of a man from Samaria who stopped on the side of the road to help a man… I cannot believe we live in a world where the term can equally apply to someone *killing* someone… my God.”
The term, “Good Samaritan” came from a Bible passage of a man from Samaria who stopped on the side of the road to help a man who was injured and ignored.
I cannot believe we live in a world where the term can equally apply to someone *killing* someone… my God. https://t.co/0a3sgzejzD
— Justin Kollar (@kollarjustin) July 18, 2022
And he was none too impressed with Elisjsha packing heat.
“It’s against the @simonmalls code of conduct for anyone to carry a weapon inside the mall. However, Greenwood Police are thankful the…man was.”
"The real hero, is the citizen that was lawfully carrying a firearm."
It's against the @simonmalls code of conduct for anyone to carry a weapon inside the mall, however Greenwood Police are thankful the 22 year old Bartholomew Co. man was @FOX59 https://t.co/BV1lOnZOgM pic.twitter.com/XuWSR26ipF
— Justin Kollar (@kollarjustin) July 18, 2022
Some online were in agreement. One user offered, “What you have is two gunmen — one of whom obeyed the law for a little longer than the mass shooter.”
So goes America’s divide over guns. For many advocates, if a firearm is used to do evil, it’s apparently the fault of the weapon. But if a gun is used to stop the act, that implement earns no points. Nor does the person who rightfully employed it.
Presently, a perpetrator may be more embraced than their victim (Language Warning):
Arabella Foss-Yarbrough, who survived the shooting from Andrew Tekle Sundberg argued with protesters to go home.
“He tried to kill me in front of my kids!…There’s bullet holes in my kitchen!—”
“—Not in you though!”
— Rebecca Brannon (@RebsBrannon) July 17, 2022
As for the issue of a Good Samaritan, the biblical act was extolled because it saved a life.
Did Elisjsha do the same, many times over? You be the judge:
- The shooter was armed with a Sig Sauer 400M 5.56-caliber rifle.
- He had a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 5.56 on reserve in the restroom.
- A Glock 33 .357 pistol was on his person.
- He was armed with over 100 rounds.
- He’d been frequently practicing at a range for the past two years.
- He had resigned from his warehouse job in May.
- Police were told by family they believe he’d received a notice of eviction.
That sounds like a man who came to kill the world.
Thanks to Elisjsha Dicken — no matter what he’s called — that mission was swiftly and permanently scrapped.
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Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to correct information regarding the ammunition used by the shooter.