Greenwood mall shooter was ‘infatuated’ with Nazi Germany and mass killings, but motive still unclear

The FBI and members of the Greenwood Police Department said they don’t know why the gunman chose to carry out the incident during a press conference on Wednesday. They have learned more about his past, but they haven’t discovered his motives yet.

Jonathan Sapirman, a 20-year-old individual, who was legally possessing a handgun, was the individual responsible for the shooting. The victims who lost their lives were Pedro Pineda, aged 56, from Indianapolis, along with his wife, Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda, aged 37, and Victor Gomez, aged 30, also from Indianapolis. This tragic incident occurred on July 17 in the food court of the mall.

A 22-year-old female and a 12-year-old girl sustained injuries.

Elisjsha Dicken, a 22-year-old civilian armed with a gun, discharged their weapon at the attacker roughly 15 seconds following the initial gunfire.


Authorities are unable to access any files because the laptop sustained damage. The shooter placed his laptop in the oven of his apartment with a can of butane to cause the damage. It may take law enforcement years to determine the password. Authorities are still trying to unlock the shooter’s cellphone, which he tried to destroy by placing it in a toilet in the mall’s restroom before carrying out the shooting.

Law enforcement conducted interviews with the shooter’s family and friends, and they also examined his social media profiles and posts. They discovered that he was deeply fascinated with mass killings and had a strong interest in Nazis. He frequently shared his thoughts on these subjects and actively participated in discussions with fellow users, primarily on Reddit.

Greenwood Police Chief Jim Ison stated, “The perpetrator admitted on multiple occasions in these statements that he examined and investigated mass slayings and individuals who commit serial crimes. It appeared that he took pleasure in engaging in discussions with others about the strategies, intentions, and specifics related to these occurrences.”

Ison stated that the shooter did not exhibit any anti-Semitic intent or beliefs when committing the mass shooting. It is unclear if the victims of the attack were targeted because of their race, while three of them were Hispanic, according to Ison.

Ison said, “There is no clear motive as to why the shooter committed this crime or why he chose this place and time.”

The authorities determined that the posts were made from the address where the shooter lived, but they were unable to identify the individuals who made the posts at that time. After a Reddit user expressed concern over another user posting about idealizing killers and being interested in mass killings, the FBI in Baltimore, Maryland received an anonymous tip in 2019, as stated by Ison.

Family of the shooter and former girlfriend provide authorities with additional details

They said he was involved in it unexpectedly. He showed interest in guns and drugs, and they said he was antisocial. Authorities said Ison spoke with the family members of the shooter.

However, the pair ended their relationship 18 months prior to the occurrence of the shooting, and she disclosed instances of mistreatment within their connection. The former girlfriend of the perpetrator informed law enforcement that she was not caught off guard by his act of carrying out the shooting. She recounted an incident during a disagreement, where he forcefully placed a firearm inside her oral cavity. Nevertheless.

Ison stated, “If he were told that, he would kill himself with others.” The shooter said she was fascinated and unhappy with Germany, Nazis, drugs, and guns.

The ex-girlfriend additionally stated that the perpetrator displayed racial bias towards African Americans and Hispanics. Nevertheless, law enforcement is unable to establish a correlation between this and a motive.

The shooter’s history

The shooter was born in Columbus, Ohio, and lived with both of his parents until they separated when he was five years old. After the separation, he moved with his mother to Florida, and his father moved to New York.

According to Ison, Child Protective Services stated that the individual who carried out the shooting had a history of being homeless during their childhood. Ison added that multiple CPS reports indicated instances of abuse and neglect. The person also had various encounters with the juvenile justice system, including instances of truancy, bringing a knife to school, and engaging in fights. Additionally, they had a sporadic history of being in and out of foster care.

The shooting occurred while he resided at the Polo Run Apartments in Greenwood with his sibling, where the perpetrator was 17 years old and the perpetrator’s elder brother was awarded custody in 2018.

Prior to the shooting, he was served an eviction notice after failing to make rent payments. In terms of finances, his father ceased providing support and the individual who carried out the shooting resigned from his job in May 2022. Approximately a month before the incident, the shooter’s brother took his name off the lease agreement for the apartment.

Contact Katrina Pross, the journalist specializing in criminal justice at WFYI, by sending an email to kpross@wfyi.Org. Additionally, you have the option to stay updated by following her on Twitter using the handle @katrina_pross.

Pross is a member of Report for America, a program of The GroundTruth Project.