November 5th, 2013
06:59 AM ET

NJ Mall Gunman Dead

Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli confirms that Garden State Plaza Mall suspect, Richard Shoop, of Teaneck, New Jersey, is dead.

The shooter's body was discovered at 3:20 a.m. in a back area of the mall, CNN's Poppy Harlow reports.

A shooter opened fire at a New Jersey mall Monday night, sending panic through the shopping center and setting off a frenzied hunt for the gunman.

No one was injured by the shooting at Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall, Paramus Mayor Rich LaBarbiera said. But no one knew exactly where the gunman was.

The Mayor said authorities believe the shooter had left the mall, but New Jersey State Police said they are still searching for the gunman in the building.

SWAT officers swept through the mall store-by-store into Tuesday morning, searching for the shooter and evacuating barricaded shoppers as each store was cleared.

Harry Houck, security consultant and a former detective with the New York Police Department, tells "New Day's" Chris Cuomo that everyone in the mall seems to have acted correctly in this incident during the critical first minutes before the police could respond.

“Apparently what some of the people did in this mall was bring their gates down and stay inside their stores. That was a great move,” Houck says. “Some people were inside the mall, also took cover. That's a great move. Because there's only three things you can do in an active shooter response. Okay, the first one is to escape, the second is to hide, and the third is to fight the shooter.”

Molinelli tells “New Day’s” Kate Bolduan the latest about the suspect.

‘We know that his intent was either suicide or to do something that would cause police to shoot him, which we call suicide by cop. He had more than enough opportunity to be able to shoot other people. When he did discharge his weapon, there was just a large number of people immediately adjacent to him and he did not shoot anyone. Instead he shot randomly at different locations."

While his motive is not known, Molinelli says the suspect had issues concerning narcotic abuse and was going through a difficult time. “My thought is that would be the reason why he did what he did last night.”

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