Eric Joseph Holcomb, 54, has been serving as the governor of Indiana, United States since January 9, 2017. On March 21, 2022, he signed a bill into law that eliminates the license requirement to carry a handgun in the state.
Starting July 1, 2022, anyone who legally could carry a handgun with a permit previously in Indiana now could do so without one. On July 17, 2022, Elisjsha Dean Dicken, 22, of Seymour, Indiana was inside the Greenwood Park Mall in Greenwood, Indiana shopping with his girlfriend.
Also in the mall at the time was Jonathan Douglas Sapirman, 20, of Greenwood. At around 4:54 p.m., he went into a restroom near the food court at around 4:54 p.m.
At 5:56 p.m., Sapirman exited and used a SIG Sauer rifle to fire 24 rounds near and into the mall’s food court. He injured a woman, 22, and a girl, 12, and fatally shot Indianapolis residents Pedro Pineda, 56, Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda, 37, and Victor Gomez, 30.
At 5:57 p.m., Dicken used his 9mm pistol to fire 10 rounds and shot Sapirman. The latter tried to retreat back to the bathroom but he collapsed to the ground and died.
“I will say his actions were nothing short of heroic,” IndyStar quoted Greenwood Police Department chief Jim Ison as saying, referring to Dicken. “He engaged the gunman from quite a distance with a handgun, was very proficient in that, very tactically sound and as he moved to close in on the suspect, he was also motioning for people to exit behind him.”
Dicken has yet to release a statement about the shooting. The Seymour resident retained Indiana attorney and firearms instructor Guy Relford‘s law office.
“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,” Relford said of Dicken. “Because we want to respect the on-going criminal investigation by the Greenwood Police Department and take time to honor the three innocent lives lost, we won’t be making any substantive comments on Sunday’s events until after the authorities’ investigation is closed. In the interim, we ask that you respect the privacy of Eli and his family.”
Aside from Seymour, Dicken has lived in other parts of Indiana including Columbus. From 2014 to 2018, he attended Columbus Signature Academy (CSA) New Tech in Columbus.
Dicken has no police training or military background. On May 25, 2013, he took to Facebook to share a photo of a young girl with a gun with a caption that reads, “Teach your daughters to shoot, because a restraining order is just a piece of paper. Share if you believe women should be able to protect themselves.”