NJ mall shooting baffles relatives of gunman

November 6, 2013 • National News

In this May 30, 2011 photo taken by Chelsea Barbarini and provided to The AP, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Richard Shoop, right, poses for a photo with friends Jordan Conahan and Maddison Barbarini. Shoop opened fire inside the Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus, N.J., late Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, trapping shoppers for hours before killing himself. (AP Photo/Chelsea Barbarini)

TEANECK, N.J. (AP) — Relatives and friends of a young man who fired shots in New Jersey’s largest mall, trapping terrified shoppers for hours before killing himself, struggled Tuesday to reconcile those actions with a person they described as pleasant and well-liked.

Investigators don’t believe the gunman, identified as 20-year-old Richard Shoop, intended to shoot anyone when he began firing at the ceiling and elsewhere at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, about 15 miles northwest of New York City, shortly before the mall closed Monday night. There were no other injuries.

“We think he went in with the intent that he was not going to come out alive,” Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said.

News of Shoop’s suicide stunned friends and relatives. As recently as last week, Shoop Login to read more

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