More Details Emerge From the Indiana Mall Active Shooting Incident

Details of an active shooter incident in the food court of an Indiana mall show the good guy who stopped the killer was just an average joe with a handgun. Over the last few days, we've learned more details about the people involved and the good guy who saved numerous lives.

greenwood park mall map from google

Greenwood Park Mall Active Shooter Incident—

This past Sunday July 17, a man entered the Greenwood Park Mall, which lies about 15 miles south of Indianapolis. The man entered the mall carrying a backpack and made his way into a food court bathroom. Police have released the name of the suspect, but I'll just refer to him as the bad guy (BG).

After reviewing surveillance video that isn't available to the public, Police say that the BG stayed in the bathroom for an hour. Police would later discover that the BG brought 3 firearms and at least 100 rounds with him into the bathroom.

The BG exits the bathroom, armed with a rifle, enters the food court and starts shooting random people.

Within the 15 seconds, the BG fired 24 rounds that killed 3 people and injured two others. The BG stopped killing people when an armed civilian shot him with a Glock handgun he carried.

New details emerged about who the good samaritan is, and the actions that saved many people's lives.

Eli Dicken-Photo by Atty. Guy Relford

Initially, police didn't release the name of the concealed carrier, but eventually we learned his name, Elisjsha Dicken. Police say that Eli and his girlfriend were shopping at the mall when the BG started killing innocent people.

Eli directed his girlfriend to a position of cover and moved toward the BG. Eli began engaging the BG with gunfire from “quite a distance.” Some reports say 20 yards some say Eli was as far as 50 yards away when he first shot the BG. Police say Eli shot 10 rounds at the BG, and that 8 of them struck the BG.

Reports say Eli approached tactically using cover, and while he did, motioned for people to exit. The BG tried to escape, but because of Eli's actions, the BG died in the food court, where he began his evil actions.Eli found mall security and remained with them until the police arrived.

Eli showed that he not only used his brain during the incident, but afterwards as well. He secured legal representation and has given no public statements.

From what reports say, Eli has no high-level law enforcement or military tactical training. Many news reports indicate he learned how to shoot from his grandfather.

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In an Active Shooting Event, Time is of the Essence—

Many more people would have died last night if not for a responsible armed citizen that took action very quickly within the first two minutes of the shooting. -Greenwood Police Chief James Ison

It's not an overstatement to say that without the good samaritan intervening with deadly force when he did, the number of injured and killed people would be higher.

Eli killed the BG within seconds, and still 3 people lost their lives. There is no indication that the BG would have stopped when he did, had Eli not engaged him with gunfire.

Before the Columbine school shooting in 1999, the universally accepted response by law enforcement arriving to an active shooter incident was to arrive, contain the shooter and call in a SWAT or tactical team. That tactic proved to be horribly inadequate.

After analysis showed that confronting the shooter early on reduced the number of deaths, law enforcement revised the protocol to confront the gunman as soon as possible. The tragedy in Uvalde school shooting was made worse because of the police's failure to engage the shooter, rather than waiting for over an hour before trying to stop him from killing innocent people.

Most people, even those who don't like guns or want you disarmed, inherently understand this principle. Yet because of their fear of guns, or law abiding gun owners, many jump on board to disparage concealed carriers by saying “the good guy with a gun stopping the bad guy with a gun is a myth.”

Armed Citizens, are they Successful When Intervening—

Unless you're cynical or understand how totally lost the media is, you probably wouldn't suspect that so many “news publications” could report this incident as anything but an example of why the individual right to possess a firearm for self-defense is so important. Numerous articles all include “disclaimers” that while this incident might lead you to believe armed, law-abiding individuals save lives, it's actually rare. Furthermore, it just makes things harder for law enforcement to figure out who the bad guy is once they finally get there.

Here is just one headline from USA Today writer called Amanda Jayne Miller:

A ‘good Samaritan' with a gun stopped a shooter in an Indiana mall. I have mixed feelings.

I'm not going to spend time here to document the daily occurrences where armed citizens stop criminals from taking a life, but if you're interested, here is a study we did back in 2018. We analyzed how successful armed citizens were at stopping an armed bad guy.

You can also check out one of the monthly ‘Justified Saves' Concealed Carry Podcast episodes where we discuss news stories of defensive gun uses. Or listen to this interview with author and expert on documenting defensive gun uses Dave Kopel.

The Gun Free Zone Fallacy—

Another thing to consider is this idea of “gun free zones.” People constantly argue about the actual number of incidents that happen in “gun free zones.” I don't think we even need to use statistics to make this point. One mass shooting in a “gun free zone” is proof signs don't stop killers. So now what?

Proponents of gun control cite the numbers of school shootings as a reason for restricting the Second Amendment. But schools are already “gun free zones.” If this worked, wouldn't we be talking about something else?

Not convinced gun control isn't really about public safety? Here is something to consider. In response to the Supreme Court's Decision affirming a state cannot put arbitrary means tests on law-abiding citizens' ability to carry a firearm for self defense, New York Democrats drafted laws to greatly expand gun free zones, or what the tyrants like to call “sensitive areas.”

We do not know if the BG targeted this mall because of its no gun policy. I'm guessing he selected it, at least in part, because it's an enclosed space open to the public with many people all in one location. But we know from statements of other active shooters that they prefer “gun free zones.”

Now Greenwood Park Mall is owned by a company called Simon Malls. Greenwood Park Mall's website shows no firearm policy. However, Simon Malls' company website has a policy on firearms. And as you might have guessed, “weapons are prohibited.”

So we potentially had two people ignore a “no gun” policy. One person ignored it intending to murder as many people as possible. The other one ignored the sign in order to protect themselves and others from a maniacal killer. If that doesn't cause proponents of “gun free zones” to think about the effectiveness of their policy, I don't know what else to say.

The code of conduct from the website of Simon Malls, Owner of the Greenwood Park Mall.

Mall Security and Police—

Oh, but I have one more thing to say about the incident. Greenwood Park Mall also lists a “Security and Police Sub-Station” on their map. I don't know if the mall has armed security. And it doesn't appear there were officers at the police-sub-station when the shooting went down.

I am all about private companies employing on site security. However, many people have a false sense of security, believing they are safe because security is present.

I've included a screenshot of the mall map showing the distance from the security/ police sub-station to the food court where the shooting went down. It's not far, but if you were unarmed and being shot at, would you rather someone immediately shoot the bad guy, or wait until police or security made their way to the scene? I think the answer is pretty obvious.

In Conclusion—

I'm sure many people can't wait to discover the BG motivation for killing innocent people. Rarely do we decide because of one factor. I'm sure many factors led the BG to think murdering people was the way to go. I can say for certain the guns didn't make him do it. No more so than the Glock gun Eli carried made him intervene in a heroic way.

See it's all about the heart. The BG acted with evil motive, and used whatever he could to inflict evil on others. Eli, he did the same, except he didn't have an evil heart.

Responsibly armed citizens are not the problem, not even close. Popular culture may try to paint armed citizen as a vigilante, and while there are some, the overwhelming majority are law-abiding average Joes. So to my fellow armed concealed carriers, continue doing what you do. Train, know the laws, prepare and carry your gun to protect innocent life.

If you like this content, consider checking out a membership to Guardian Nation. Membership gives you access to all of our training courses, content like this, discounts to our online store and many partner companies including CCW Safe, as well as a box of gear each quarter.

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About Matthew Maruster

I follow my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who is the eternal co-equal Son of God. I currently live in Columbus, Ohio with my wife and daughter. I served in the Marine Corps Infantry. I was a Staff Sergeant and served as a Platoon Sergeant during combat in Iraq. After I was a police officer at a municipal agency in San Diego County. I have a Bachelors's Degree in Criminal Justice from National University. MJ Maruster Defense.


  1. Jack Perry on July 20, 2022 at 5:52 pm

    Thank the Good Lord we have citizens who own and are proficient in the use of various firearms!

    Unlike the “Royalty in Government” who are protected by the Secret Service and who knows what ever else they have given themselves because of their irreplaceable value.

    E. Dicken should be given formal recognition by the President and an award for his action.

    • Clark Kent on July 20, 2022 at 9:52 pm

      Yup, under Bozo Joe that will happen when pigs fly…

  2. Big Paul on July 20, 2022 at 5:54 pm

    Common sense you don’t tell the bad guy where you hid your valuables in your home,so why would you tell the bad guy where he can go and kill by creating “sensitive “ zones like some politicians are doing???? It’s not the good guy who’s doing harm it’s the “BAD “ guy who doesn’t care about rules and regulations and gun laws.So why are we being so stupid and telling them where they don’t have to worry about someone stopping their actions by creating these”SENSITIVE ZONES “ that they don’t care about anyway???

  3. Joseph Noll on July 20, 2022 at 6:05 pm

    Not to be too picky, but who produced the pie chart showing the percentage of success in stopping active shooters? The graphics do not match the percentages. e.g 75% of the pie is 3/4 of the pie not the visual shown. Your proofer missed this post terribly.

  4. Mike Schuttler on July 20, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    I’ve wondered if Eli was punished for carrying in a No Gun Zone? I’m so thankful he was there and that Grandpa trained him well.

  5. Tom on July 20, 2022 at 6:19 pm

    Thankfully Mr. Dicken had excellent training.

    At 20 yards a novice CC’er is unlikely to put 8 of 10 rounds on target where it matters, never mind at 50 yards – unless there’s an optic involved. Shooters should be encouraged to practice regularly – better still, train regularly with a competent instructor.

    • Clark Kent on July 20, 2022 at 9:53 pm

      Define ‘competent’.

      • Tom on July 21, 2022 at 8:41 am

        If you aren’t familiar with that word, maybe look it up.

  6. Dave on July 20, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    Should be given a civilian medal but won’t happen because of who’s in office. Hopefully he at least gets recognition from the city government since currently the federal is useless.

  7. Mark Falcon on July 20, 2022 at 7:50 pm

    Thank God for Eli in stopping the deranged fool who had murder in his heart. More people would of perished had he not been there when it unfolded. Those who want MORE gun CONTROL are the ones who think the world will be a safer place. Uh hellloooooooo , you must be from another planet!!

  8. M Abbott on July 20, 2022 at 9:56 pm

    First….The effect of signs . They are enforceable IF the carrier sees them and admits they knew they weren’t supposed to carry there-they serve as the warning that most are legally afforded before being charged with trespassing with a firearm. First one must prove the “violator ” saw it , second they must prove that they were aware that it applied to those with permits to carry their firearm’s. There can be no “punishment” for his carrying-. The Mall may however now trespass him and any future entry to the mall with or without his gun is chargeable. As for the comment that “it was unlikely that he hit a man sized target at 20 yards and there must have been a optic”..That’s patently erroneous. I’m a Range Officer at a busy range, a CWP INST, and veteran who has used a handgun and rifle in harms way. I can tell you it is entirely possible to hit a target at 20 yds with a 9mm hand gun 8 out of 10 times. The Poster says unlikely to “hit them where it matters”. You do not have to hit them in a vital spot a single rd can be enough to stop a assailant-esp one hit from a unknown direction surprising them-. This attacker was not expecting opposing fire. A rd hit him he was likely surprised and not knowing exactly where the returned fire was coming from-Eli was shooting from cover and concealment-he was then a very achievable target for several more rds-none of which need be in “vital areas” esp. when hit 8 times. As for a optic its entirely possible he had a optic on a Glock hand gun. But it would have had no impact on hitting the target at more distant ranges as these optics are not magnified.-but they may help in hitting the target under stress as they are red dots. As for hitting a man size target at 30-40 yds 8 0ut f 10 times It is possible but less likely with distance. Seems to me the constant variable here is the number of hits -we can objectively know this from the medical examiner report.-the distance is what’s subjective and prone to great errors here. In the after math and wanting to embellish the hero status people are prone to exaggerate the distance.. Other times its people giving reports of what happened who are not expert at or even competent at judging distance, or are doing it through video. In the end it was very efficient and laudable shooting to hit a target under stress 8 out of 10 times when that assailant has the ability to fire back at you with weapon better suited for the distance than yours. Im not sure what model Glock this was-but the very popular Glock 43xmos that comes optic ready is a likely candidate given the number of them being carried. Its even more impressive iof this was the gun used as its a compact handgun with a shorter barrel even less suited to distance. I am inclined to think the distance was not all that close for a handgun given it was a long open spaced area like a mall food court. Even if the shots made were on the shorter end of reported say 20 yds-it was good shooting and there is no need or merit in poo-pooing Eli’s accomplishment here. I know naysayers and haters love to nay say and hate but like the liberals who are not liking this result, youll have to live with it anyway you spin it it was a disciplined, reliable, response delivered in a timely manner with effective results.

    • Clark Kent on July 21, 2022 at 12:26 am

      In my state (Washington) it does not matter whether or not you see a ‘no guns allowed’ sign or are ‘aware’. The only way you can be trespassed from said property is if someone else sees your concealed firearm, identifies you to security, and security calls the police to respond in order for you to be formally trespassed. However, security can’t detain you nor can they demand ID. Thus the smart course of action is to LEAVE THE PREMESIS PRONTO before the police arrive and be more careful in concealing your concealed weapon in the future.

    • Tom on July 21, 2022 at 8:49 am

      I am the “poster” you reference in your reply. Please note that in my post I refer to a “novice” shooter, not an experienced one like Mr. Dicken. I too have lots of range experience, and I stand by the jist of my comment – to the effect that a novice shooter in all likelihood would not have had anything like Mr. Dicken’s success at 20 yards, never mind 50 yards.

      And by the way, I think Mr. Dicken is a hero.

  9. Ted on July 20, 2022 at 9:59 pm

    Thank you for the update Matthew. Can you please provide a profile of the BG if and when you receive additional information. I have heard nothing about this BG.

    Thanks again,


  10. Charlie Taplin on July 22, 2022 at 8:34 am

    Thank you for your assessment of this tragedy. Evil was ENDED QUICKLY, by a courageous man who was willing to sacrifice himself, in order to do THE RIGHT THING. Prayers for those who lost loved ones, and for Eli, who must be dealing with having taken a life. He is truly a hero. Unfortunately, MSM won’t cover this, because it doesn’t fit their BS narrative.

  11. DEFENDER on July 23, 2022 at 7:23 pm


    That is, IN FACT, what they have become.

    I dont think they should – Even be Allowed.

    I think if Gun Free Zones are to be allowed – Then the owner should be held –
    Fully Liable for Anyone shot therein.

    ‘Still’ – “I” am wearing MY gun. I will apologize later – or Not.

  12. Brian Williams on July 27, 2022 at 9:28 am

    It would be nice to know which Glock 9, I’ve looked, no info anywhere…

    • Matthew Maruster on July 27, 2022 at 10:24 am

      Yeah a lot of speculation on the model of Glock. He shot 10 rounds which could mean something like a G48 going to slide lock or a G19 with a 15 round mag and he stopped after 10 rounds, or something else. I haven’t heard anything about a red dot one way or the other. Until that difinitive information comes out, I think it’s still all speculation.

  13. Tazgator on July 27, 2022 at 10:02 am

    So does anyone have a definitive as to what model Glock in 9mm did Eli Dickens have that faithful day that he took out the mass shooting threat in Greenwood Park Mall, Indiana? My educated guess would be that it was a G19? but since it is popular as of late perhaps it was a G43X that is optics ready and he may have had a red dot that might have helped a bit with that distance.

    • Matthew Maruster on July 27, 2022 at 10:24 am

      Yeah a lot of speculation on the model of Glock. He shot 10 rounds which could mean something like a G48 going to slide lock or a G19 with a 15 round mag and he stopped after 10 rounds, or something else. I haven’t heard anything about a red dot one way or the other. Until that difinitive information comes out, I think it’s still all speculation.

  14. N. Buford on August 1, 2022 at 6:35 am

    An interesting bit that I haven’t seen anyone comment about, the mall’s website does not say no guns or firearms. It states, “No Weapons.”
    I have seen this posted in many locations before & as we all know there are potential weapons laying around almost anywhere you may go.
    If I’m correct, for it to become a weapon, does it not have to depend on the intent of the individual who retains possession of said item to become a weapon?

  15. Steven on August 2, 2022 at 8:20 am

    Let’s go Brandon can’t wait for you to be beaten by a landslide whoop!

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