INDIANAPOLIS — A deadly shooting at the Castleton Square Mall on Tuesday is just the latest incident of violence to happen at a central Indiana shopping center.
At the end of December, police in Greenwood said a group of individuals got into a shootout in the parking lot of the Greenwood Park Mall. Nobody was shot but the gunfire sparked false rumors of an active shooter and led to mass panic during the busy shopping days before Christmas.
The Greenwood Park Mall was also the site of a deadly mass shooting over the summer.
On July 17. Jonathan Sapirman entered the mall and spent more than an hour in the restroom before coming out shooting. Within seconds, Sapirman killed three people: 56-year-old Pedro Pineda, 30-year-old Victor Gomez and 37-year-old Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda.
All these incidents happened within a six-month time frame. Each time, FOX59 has repeatedly reached out to Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group with questions about mall security and each time they have refused to answer or simply ignored those questions.
IMPD said it has stepped up patrols at the complex as a precaution.
Shoppers returned to the mall on Wednesday with many saying they were hesitant to return.
“That’s where people go for most of their shopping and for someone to do that it’s just crazy,” said shopper Calvin Sibley. “So probably won’t be seeing me much in malls now.”
IMPD said its officers were able to respond quickly thanks to help from community members. They said the best way to protect yourself is to be aware and speak up.
“You should always be aware of what’s going on around you, looking to see what happens,” Sgt. Genae Cook said. “When you see something that appears suspicious or you might see like a volatile situation, call the police.”
Shoppers who returned on Wednesday, despite the deadly shooting the night before, said if the mall won’t do it they’re going to take their security into their own hands.
“It just feels like now you need protection,” said Mary Gian. “I don’t really want to carry a gun but you just need protection.”
IMPD said its extra patrols of the area will continue.
We did send multiple messages to Simon and its public relations firm today but so far we’ve not heard back.