Richard Shoop has been identified as the suspect who opened fire at a New Jersey mall and later killed himself with a self-inflicted gunshot. Shoop sprayed the Westfield Garden State Plaza mall with bullets but didn’t kill anyone in the shooting.
Although Shoop, 20, of Teaneck, N.J., was known to local police, he was not familiar to the rest of the country until the Monday-night shooting in Paramus. Here’s five things to know about the New Jersey mall shooter:
1. Shoop was known to authorities in Bergen County
The 20-year-old had a history of substance abuse, and the club drug “Molly” was said to be his drug of choice, Bergen County prosecutor John Molinelli told ABC News.
2. It appeared that Shoop didn't want to kill anyone at the Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall
"He had more than enough opportunity to be able to shoot other people," Molinelli said, according to CNN. “Instead, he shot randomly at different locations” in the mall.
The Bergen County prosecutor added to ABC News, “The mall was closing in about 10 minutes, so there were thousands of people and many people just surrounding him and the fact that he shot into the ceiling or randomly at other things, we don't think he went in there with the intent to shoot anyone. We think he went in there with the intent that he was not going to come out alive."
3. The New Jersey mall shooting may have been a tactic used by Shoop to commit “suicide by cop.”
Although the Teaneck man wound up shooting himself in the head, “we know that his intent was either suicide or to do something that would cause police to shoot him, which we call 'suicide by cop,'" Molinelli said.
4. Shoop may have been an aspiring actor or model
The 20-year-old has a profile on exploretalent.com, which posts info on auditions and acting and modeling jobs. Shoop’s profile says he’s most interested in being cast in feature films and television pilots and also seeks modeling jobs.
5. A “note” recovered at Shoop’s Teaneck home after the mall shooting made his family believe that he was the shooter
"I'm hesitant to say it's a suicide note. It does express that an end is coming. It could have been prison. It could have been what he did last night, but it's certainly something that gave his family reason to reach out to us sometime after 10 p.m. last night," Molinelli told ABC News.