Greenwood, Indiana names gun owner who stopped mall shooting "Citizen of the Year"

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

Remember Elisjsha Dicken? It’s been a few months since that name was in the headlines, and since then Dicken has kept a pretty low profile, so you might have forgotten his life-saving actions last July when the 22-year-old shot and killed an active shooter at the Greenwood Park Mall, saving countless lives in the process.


Those killed by the shooter include 56-year-old Pedro Pineda, his wife 37-year-old Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda and 30-year-old Victor Gomez. Also wounded that day in the food court of the mall were a 22-year-old woman, who was hit in the leg, and a 12-year-old girl hit in the back by a bullet fragment.

Police said many more would have died if it was not for the actions of one man just 15 seconds after the shooting began. It was during that short time that police said Eli Dicken drew his own gun and steadied it at the shooter.

Police said Dicken fired 10 rounds as the shooter tried to retreat into the food court bathroom but collapsed and died. An autopsy found the shooter was shot eight times and none were self-inflicted.

Dicken had no police training or military background, according to police. Dicken had a license to carry a handgun, which was issued Aug. 4, 2021, according to his attorney. However, Dicken did not need the license because “constitutional or permitless carry” became law in Indiana on July 1.

Police said Dicken learned to shoot from his grandfather and that he had no military or police training.

“His actions were nothing short of heroic. He engaged the gunman from quite a distance with a handgun. Was very proficient in that, was tactically sound and as he moved to close in on the suspect, he was also motioning for people to exit behind him,” Greenwood Police Chief Jim Ison said at the time.


While Dicken hasn’t sought out the spotlight in the months since he put an end to the active shooting incident, officials in Greenwood want to make sure that his heroic actions aren’t forgotten anytime soon. This week Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers named Dicken as the city’s 2022 “Citizen of the Year,” praising his actions on July 17th.

“July 17th started off to be another beautiful day in Greenwood. Unfortunately, it became one of the darkest days in our history. A lone gunman entered the Food Court in the Greenwood Park Mall. As he emerged from the restroom he began firing a rifle, killing 3 people.

Hearing shots ring out, Elisjsha Dicken immediately identified the shooter, took cover behind a pillar, drew his weapon and fired at the shooter from 40 yards away. He was able to eliminate the threat. While doing this Elisjsha also was waving innocent civilians to safety. There were countless number of innocent lives saved that day due to his quick and selfless thinking. The City of Greenwood and the residents here owe a great debt of gratitude to Elisjsha.

Because of his heroic actions the City of Greenwood proudly honors Elisjsha Dicken as the 2022 Citizen of the Year.”


I’m sure that Greenwood has its fair share of good citizens, but I can’t imagine that Dicken had much competition when it comes to being named Citizen of the Year. When gunshots rang out in the food court Dicken immediately responded, shooting the assailant at 40 yards before closing in and continuing to engage until the threat to innocent civilians was neutralized. His courage under fire and his expeditious response to the attack on innocents should be honored and I’m glad to see him get the recognition he deserves, even if (or maybe especially because) he’s not seeking the spotlight.

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