Last night around 2120 hours at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ, police and SWAT units breached the outer doors filling the mall searching for an active shooter. Several shots were reported as the suspect identified as 20-year old Richard Shoop of Teaneck, NJ.
As we listened to active police transmissions over the scanner, it was evident this shooter had disregard for those he came into contact with. FBI and Sheriff SWAT teams quickly responded and were on scene searching for him. It was unknown if he was looking for someone in particular or if it was just a guy on a mission to shoot shoppers in the busy mall.
This could have been any other day, say Thanksgiving or Christmas and the incident could have turned much deadlier than it did. The shooter would eventually take his own life. He was found this morning around 0300 Hours (NJ time) in an area under heavy construction.
No injuries or deaths were reported.
It was determined that the shooter was more interested in committing suicide than harming anyone – according to his brother stated through various news sources.
“For someone to commit such an act and think that this was all about himself has got it all wrong. Those people who were directly or indirectly involved with this mall incident will have a long recovery to get those images out of their minds. We hope and pray that they will seek out the help they will need and not be traumatized for the rest of their lives.” – TNWB Ed.
The mall is expected to be closed all day as police and authorities work to clear the scene and close their case.
What to do in case of an Active Shooter situation.
- Be aware of your situation at all times and any possible dangers.
- Take note of the two nearest exits in any facility that you visit.
- If you are in an office – stay there and secure the door.
- If you are in a hallway – get inside a room and secure the door.
- CALL 9-1-1 when it is safe to do so.
If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises.
Be sure to:
- Have an escape route and plan in mind
- Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
- Leave your belongings behind
- Help others escape, if possible
- Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be
- Keep your hands visible
- Follow the instructions of any police ofﬁcers
- Do not attempt to move wounded people
- • Call 911 when you are safe
If evacuation is not possible, ﬁnd a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to ﬁnd you.
Your hiding place should:
- Be out of the active shooter’s view
- Provide protection if shots are ﬁred in your direction (i.e., an ofﬁce with a closed
- and locked door)
- Not trap you or restrict your options for movement
To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:
- Lock the door
- Blockade the door with heavy furniture
How to Respond if the Active Shooter is in Your Vicinity.
If the active shooter is nearby:
- Lock the door
- Silence your cell phone and/or pager
- Turn off any source of noise (i.e. radios, TV)
- Hide behind large items (i.e. cabinets, desks)
- Remain quiet.
If evacuation and hiding out are not possible:
• Remain calm
• Dial 911, if possible, to alert police to the active shooter’s location
• If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen.
Take action against the active shooter
As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:
- Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her
- Throwing items and improvising weapons
- Committing to your actions
Source: Dept. of Homeland Security (Website: http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/active_shooter_booklet.pdf)