By Holly Yan and Dana Ford, CNN
The gunman who opened fire at a New Jersey mall Monday night is dead after shooting himself, a local prosecutor said.
Richard Shoop’s body was found at 3:20 a.m. Tuesday in a back area of the Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall, where he fired off at least six bullets but did not strike anyone, Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said.
The shooting sent panic through the shopping center shortly before closing time and set off a frenzied hunt for the gunman. In the early hours of the search, officials weren’t sure whether the shooter was still inside or outside the 2-million-square-foot building.
The melee started around 9:20 p.m. ET. Witnesses said the shooter appeared calm as he worked his way through the mall with a rifle. The gunman apparently fired shots at security cameras, state police said.
Eddie Kahmann, who works inside the mall, said he heard six or seven gunshots.
“There was just people running like crazy, so I quickly just closed my doors, ran to the back, turned off all the lights, music and everything, just to stay hidden,” he said.
Allie Cozic, another mall employee, said she saw “someone dressed in all black, carrying a large gun, walk past our store.”
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