Gunman kills three at Greenwood Park Mall in US state of Indiana

The attacker’s identity and a motive for the attack, which took place in the shopping centre’s food court, were not immediately released.

A law enforcement officer sets a perimeter after a shooting at a mall in the Indianapolis suburb of Greenwood, Indiana [Cheney Orr/Reuters]

A gunman has killed three people at a shopping centre in the US state of Indiana in the latest mass shooting in the country.

Two others were also wounded when the attacker, carrying a rifle along with several magazines of ammunition, opened fire at 6pm (22:00 GMT) on Sunday at the Greenwood Park Mall, which is located about 16km (10 miles) from the state capital, Indianapolis, authorities said.

The attacker’s identity and a motive for the attack, which took place in the shopping centre’s food court, were not immediately released.

Police said the attack ended when a 22-year-old “good Samaritan” who was legally carrying a gun fatally shot the attacker.

Those injured included a 12-year-old girl, Greenwood Police Department chief Jim Ison said.

“This has shaken us to our core. This isn’t something we have seen in Greenwood before,” he said. “It’s absolutely horrendous.”

INTERACTIVE Mass shootings in the US on the rise

“The real hero of the day is the citizen that was lawfully carrying a firearm in that food court and was able to stop this shooter almost as soon as he began,” he added.

Gun violence remains common in the United States, with the Gun Violence Archive recording 352 mass shootings so far in 2022. The tracker recorded 611 mass shootings in 2021, up from 417 the previous year.

Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has recorded an increase in recent years in so-called “active shooter” incidents, which it defines as a gunman killing or attempting to kill people in a public space in a seemingly random fashion.

The agency recorded 61 such incidents in 2021, a more than 50 percent increase over those recorded in the three previous years.

The latest attack comes just weeks after an attacker opened fire on a July 4 parade in an affluent Chicago suburb, killing seven people and injuring at least three dozen. That followed two attacks in May that saw 10 Black people shot dead in a racist attack at a Buffalo, New York supermarket; and 19 children and two teachers fatally shot at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

The recent high-profile shootings have prompted the US legislature in June to pass the first – albeit modest – gun control legislation in decades.

A US House of Representatives committee is set this week to discuss a bill that would ban assault weapons for the first time in nearly 20 years, although such a measure is all but assured to face Republican opposition in the US Senate. A previous 10-year federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies