Mom: Officer on Indiana shooting scene made ‘big difference’


(NewsNation) — Shoppers were enjoying their Sunday evening at the Greenwood Park Mall before a 20-year-old man unleashed gunfire inside, killing three people. A civilian fatally shot him, ending the threat.

Jennifer Sharpe was at the mall with her son during the deadly shooting.

She said they were having a good time playing video games together at Dave and Buster’s and heard a noise, but figured it was just something in the arcade. Then, one of the managers told them they needed to leave.

“She was like we need you to leave, evacuate out now through the mall entrance over there. We looked over and there was a police officer standing there with all of his tactical gear on holding his assault rifle. He had a helmet on and then there was another one, just like right behind him,” Sharpe said. “And I looked at my son who’s 15 and has high functioning autism. I said, this is real, we need to go over there now.”

Many people hear of shootings or see them on TV, but Sharpe said it was surreal to see this investigation unfold right in front of her eyes.

“It was surreal. I felt like I was in a movie. We saw all these officers just standing around with their weapons and tactical gear. It was just absolutely surreal,” she said.

Amid all of the chaos, Sharpe is thankful for one officer who she says went above and beyond to make her son more comfortable.

“It was just so amazing that this officer took his time out, just even five seconds, to make sure my son understood what was going on and that he knew that he was safe,” Sharpe said.

Sharpe shared that her son has a lot of anxiety due to all of the recent shootings that have happened across the country.

“This was like my biggest fear, so I know it was his as well,” Sharpe said. “Just having that police officer giving knuckles, asking him (for) his name. It made a big difference for us.”

Authorities have identified those killed in the shooting as Pedro Pineda, 56, of Indianapolis and his wife Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda, 37, and Victor Gomez, 30. Two others, including a 12-year-old girl, were hurt.

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