A man who allegedly opened fire inside the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J. was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a storage room at the mall, authorities said a news conference early Tuesday.
The body of Richard Shoop, 20, was found during a store-by-store sweep by heavily armed police officers following reports of an active gunman at the mall, athorties said.
Gunshots were reported near the Nordstrom department store on the second level of the mall around 9:30 p.m. EST on Friday.
“Mult Agencies operating at the Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus (Bergen County) with an active shooter reported and shots fired,” Ocean Police and Fire reported in a tweet.
The gunman was described as a man dressed in black wearing what is believed to be a motorcycle helmet, according to a statement from Paramus police.
“There was just people running like crazy so I quickly just closed my doors, ran to the back, turned off all the lights, music and everything, just to stay hidden,” mall employee Eddie Kahmann told CNN.
Ally Kozic, another mall employee, told CNN she saw “someone dressed in all black, carrying a large gun walk past our store.”
The 2.2-million-square-foot mall, one of the largest in the New York City area, is located (map) about 22 miles southwest of Manhattan.
There were no reports of injuries.