Police say it took Elisjsha Dicken just 15 seconds to neutralize a man who opened fire on shoppers at an Indiana mall — quick action they believe saved countless lives.
"The time lapse between the moment that Jonathan Sapirman exited the restroom and began shooting, and when he was shot by the civilian was only fifteen seconds, not two minutes," Greenwood Police Chief James Ison said Tuesday in a statement. "The surveillance video shows Sapirman exit the restroom at 5:56:48pm. He was neutralized by Dicken at 5:57:03 pm."
The statement corrects a previous police timeline in which authorities said the incident lasted two minutes. Police also revealed that a preliminary autopsy report on the gunman showed that he was struck eight times and died of his wounds, meaning Dicken only missed the shooter twice despite engaging the threat from a distance.
Police say the gunman was armed with two rifles, a Glock pistol, and was carrying at least 100 rounds of ammunition with him. Sapirman killed three people before being quickly neutralized by Dicken, who began closing the distance on the shooter as he waved for bystanders to flee behind him.
Ison said that Dicken's actions were "heroic" and "very tactically sound" despite him having no police or military background.
"Many more people would have died last night if not for a responsible armed citizen who took action within the first two minutes of this shooting," Ison said.
Guy Relford, an attorney hired to represent Dicken, said he was proud of his client's actions at the mall.
"I am proud to serve as Eli Dickens’ attorney and spokesperson," Relford said in a statement. "He 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."