NBC 4 New York
A family who was inside the Paramus, N.J. mall where a gunman frightened shoppers before taking his own life watch surveillance video from that night. Brian Thompson reports.
The gunman who shot up a New Jersey mall earlier this month appeared calm and determined as he walked through the building dressed in black and carrying a rifle, sending terrified shoppers running, security video first obtained by NBC 4 New York shows.
Five surveillance cameras in the Westfield Garden State Plaza mall caught 20-year-old Richard Shoop prowling the mall around closing time on Nov. 4, his intentions unknown as bystanders fled.
No one was injured in the shooting except Shoop, who took his own life.
Security expert and former NYPD commander John Cornicello watched the video and observed that Shoop "looks very determined."
"He knows what he's doing and what he wants to do," Cornicello said.
At one point, shots are fired and mall customers and employees in the video appear to cringe, then peer through a doorway in curiosity. They apparently see the gunman and start to run.
Video also shows the gunman exiting an elevator, and just seconds later, a customer scurries out the door.
Renowned rabbi Shmuley Boteach was at the mall that night and got three children outside while his wife and oldest daughter were trapped in another store. Watching the video at his home office in Englewood Friday, he still could not comprehend the gunman's actions.
"To walk so deliberately like he owns the place, and he has nothing to fear while everybody is running around terrified, did it give him some giddy sense of power, to threaten people?" he said.
His 15-year-old daughter Rachel Leah said she got a "haunting feeling" watching the video knowing the gunman is dead.
Shoop fired six rounds inside the mall, striking an elevator, escalator and several store facades along a 300-yard path at about 9:30 p.m. Monday. He was using a Sig Sauer rifle modified to look like an AK-47 that he stole from his brother earlier in the day, officials said.
Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera said he was told that Shoop said to people in the mall "don't worry, just get out of the way."
"And the strong belief is that he had zero intention of bringing harm to anybody but himself," the mayor said after the shooting.
Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said his motives weren't clear. Shoop's family has said it "was something none of us saw coming."