Armed bystander killed gunman at a mall in Greenwood, Indiana
(CNN) - An attorney for Dicken, Guy A. Relford, said in a statement to CNN his client 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."
This is not normal for a civilized society. The armed bystander whom the media is now calling a hero is in all actuality a murderer and he will be judged as one. This is not justice; this is vigilantism and it will get worse.
According to news reports, "As Sapirman let off rounds from a restroom area into the mall's food court, Elisjsha Dicken, 22, of Seymour, Indiana, fired 10 shots at Sapirman from his Glock handgun, preventing "many more" deaths, Greenwood Police Chief James Ison said at a press conference Monday."
"He engaged the gunman from quite a distance with a handgun -- was very proficient in that, very tactically sound and as he moved to close in on the suspect he was also motioning for people to exit behind him," Ison said. "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."
Dicken was legally armed, Ison said.
There were at least 434 active shooter attacks in the US from 2000 to 2021, according to ALERRT data. Active shooter attacks were defined as those in which one or more shooters killed or attempted to kill multiple unrelated people in a populated place.
Of those 434 active shooter cases, an armed bystander shot the attacker in 22 of the incidents. In 10 of those, the "good guy" was a security guard or an off-duty police officer, ALERRT data showed.
Having armed people at the scene who are not law enforcement members can create confusion and carry dire risks, according to a data analysis published by The New York Times. An armed bystander who shot and killed an attacker in 2021 in Arvada, Colorado, for example, was himself shot and killed by the police who mistook him for the gunman, the Times reported.