Last night, a gunman dressed in black walked into a New Jersey mall and fired at least six shots before killing himself inside one of the mall's construction zones. There were no other injuries or deaths.
According to Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli, the suspect, identified as 20-year-old Richard Shoop, did not attempt to shoot or injure any of the mall's shoppers or employees, despite having ample opportunity to do so.
"The main motive for what he did tonight was suicide, whether self-inflicted or suicide-by-cop," Molinelli said, according to the Star-Ledger. Molinelli also said the suspect's family were the first to alert authorities that Shoop may have been involved. According to the family, Shoop had a long history of drug use and was unemployed.
Police found Shoop's body at about 3:20 AM, roughly five hours after the incident began. Throughout the ordeal, dozens of shoppers remained trapped inside the mall, hiding in small groups.
"It took a long time to clear these stores. You've got to go foot-by-foot, yard-by-yard," said Molinelli.
Below is our coverage of the shooting from last night and early this morning.
UPDATE 4:04 a.m.:
UPDATE 1:24 a.m.: According to the Star-Ledger, law enforcement officials have raided a home in Teaneck, N.J. The address matches the address of Richard Shoop, 20, who has been identified as a possible suspect in the Westfield Garden State Plaza mall shooting Monday evening.
UPDATE 1:21 a.m.: Another statement has been released by the Paramus police:
UPDATE 12:26 a.m.: Photos of the scene posted on Instagram by user jalamadistyle an hour ago:
UPDATE 12:20 a.m.: A statement has been released on behalf of Paramus Police Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg:
Just in: Statement from Paramus Police Chief Ehrenberg re: GSP shooting pic.twitter.com/PCvcy0nEWs— S.P. Sullivan (@spsullivan) November 5, 2013
UPDATE 11:10: Employees and shoppers are still locked down in businesses.
“He looked at me and kept on walking,” she said. She said she heard three shots, then two more. The man appeared to be wearing body armor, and had the visor of his helmet pulled up as he walked, she said.
[Screenshot via CNN]