EDITOR’S NOTE: Eli Dicken engaged and shot at the Greenwood mall gunman from approximately 30 yards away. This story inaccurately set up the targets at 30 feet away.
WESTFIELD, Ind. — An expert marksman says he is impressed by the man who shot and killed the shooter at the Greenwood Park Mall on Sunday.
The Greenwood Police Department said 22-year-old Eli Dicken neutralized the gunman just 15 seconds after he fired the first shot.
Chief Jim Ison said Dicken had no prior police or military training that he knew of.
“I think that’s some pretty darn good shooting,” gun instructor Tim Tomich said.
The Johnson County Coroner said Dicken shot 20-year-old Jonathan Sapirman eight times. In total, police said Dicken fired 10 shots.
Tomich said the accuracy in that type of situation is impressive.
“I would put that up with the NRA certified instructor,” Tomich said. “But in most cases we’re not being shot at when we have to take the test.”
As an instructor, we asked Tomich to test his skills and had him fire of 10 rounds in 15 seconds from roughly 30 feet away. However, police say Dicken fired from approximately 30 yards away.
Even without the added pressure of an active shooter, Tomich hit the target seven times. One less than Dicken.
“So I’m not quite as good as him, but just as lethal,” Tomich said.
Tomich said Eli likely had quite a bit of practice in order to shoot like that. He said other gun owners who plan on carrying should do the same.
“If you don’t practice with a gun you’re not going to be proficient with a gun,” Tomich said. “If a situation occurs you have a better chance of reacting in a positive manner if you’ve practiced in the first place.”
Researches at Texas State University analyzed data that shows there were 266 shootings over a 20 year period where the shooter was stopped from actively killing people. Only 24 of those – or nine percent – were stopped by an armed bystander killing the shooter, so it is rare.
Tomich said people should not carry a gun unless they know how to use it.
“You have to be able to understand your firearm. You have to know your limitations,” Tomich said. “For the average person just to walk out without any experience, I do not recommend that.”
Eli Dicken’s attorney revealed today that the 22-year-old dose posses a concealed carry license from state. However, Dicken was legally carrying a gun under the constitutional carry law that went into effect July 1.
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