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Just hours before opening fire in a packed Indiana food court Sunday night, 20-year-old gunman Jonathan Sapirman appears to have posted chilling messages on 4chan warning of his plan and relying on Nazi imagery.
Sapirman, 20, walked from his apartment to the Greenwood Park Mall on Sunday with three legally purchased weapons: two assault rifles and a handgun. He spent an hour in a bathroom and then walked to the food court and shot three people, all of Hispanic descent, before 22-year-old “Good Samaritan” Elishsha Dicken shot him from a distance with a handgun.
Sapirman’s motive remains unclear; his family said he was evicted from his apartment, had recently quit his warehouse job, and had frequented a shooting range. Greenwood Police said he began purchasing firearms from local gun stores in March.
A since-deleted message that appears to have been posted by Sapirman on 4chan, the online message board that played a role in several white supremacist-inspired mass shootings, has since circulated online.
“Name is Jonathan and today seems like a good day to die,” the post reads, timestamped at 1:13 p.m. It was accompanied by a colorized wedding photo of an Unterscharführer, a rank in the Nazi army. He opened fire around 6 p.m. the same day.
The post also included a link to Imgur, an image-sharing site, which featured photos of a young man wearing a white button-down shirt, black face mask, blue jeans and a combat-style vest. In the background are two AR-15 style rifles, a pistol and ammunition.
Greenwood Police Chief James Ison would not confirm the messages were written by Sapirman, but said: SHAME and local outlet WISH-TV that investigators “were aware” of the photos and message.
“Greenwood Police and the FBI are working diligently to identify the source,” he told WISH-TV. “We will release an update when our investigation is complete. There is no timetable for this update as the investigation is still ongoing.”
SHAME reports that the outfit of the man in the photos on Imgur matches the outfit seen in a graphic crime scene photo that has been circulating on 4chan since then. It shows the bloodied suspect lying dead on the tiles in Greenwood Mall with a sign that reads ‘dead’. Ison did not dispute the authenticity of that photo because SHAMEsaying that the police were trying to find out where it came from.
Researchers have not claimed that Sapirman had far-right or white supremacist ideologies. His three victims — married couple Pedro and Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda and Victor Gomez — were of El Salvadoran and Mexican descent respectively, friends told WISH-TV. Greenwood is 84.5 percent white, according to census data.
Investigators said Monday that when they searched Sapirman’s apartment, they found his laptop with a can of butane in a hot oven.
He also threw his cell phone into the restroom of the mall before unleashing the massacre. The laptop and cell phone are under further investigation by the FBI.
4chan has been repeatedly criticized as a cesspool of bigotry and a training ground for far-right conspiracy theorists. Most recently, it is believed to have played a role in radicalizing the Buffalo gunman who killed 10 black people at a grocery store in a predominantly black neighborhood in Upstate New York.
Shooter in Indiana Mall appeared chilling messages with Nazi images – UK Time News
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