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Greenwood police release bodycam video from 2022 deadly mall shooting

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Posted at 5:04 PM, Aug 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-30 17:31:54-04

GREENWOOD — Days after the first bodycam videos were released from the deadly 2022 Greenwood Park Mall shooting, the lead agency is now sharing their own bodycam video from that day.

It's been more than a year since a gunman shot and killed three people inside the Greenwood Park Mall's food court on July 17, 2022. There were 16 law enforcement agencies and hundreds of first responders on scene that day.

Earlier this month we the Southport Police Department released the unedited bodycam video from their officers that day as they assisted the Greenwood Police Department.

WRTV Investigates has now obtained police body cam video from the lead agency on the case. The videos provide new insights into the work officers did in the midst of the chaos and the SWAT Team's concerns as they raided the home of the gunman on the south side of Indianapolis.

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"There's no mouthwash for the eyes, you can't unsee things that you see," Greenwood Police Chief James Ison told WRTV's Rafael Sanchez.

On the day of the shooting, Ronald Densmore, who is now a Lieutenant with the Greenwood Police Department, was working off-duty in the Greenwood Park Mall.

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Densmore was in the mall office when 911 began receiving calls of an active shooter in the food court just before the 6 p.m. when the mall would be closing. The next officer to arrive was less than two minutes away, but before any law enforcement officers got involved an armed civilian had killed the gunman.

Despite that, police did not know in that moment if the shooter was acting alone or whether others were involved, so the situation was treated as an active investigation for several hours.

Among the officers to make it to the Mall was Swat Team member Erin Schenk. She began helping the injured in food court by using her trauma kit. When she ran out of our supplies in her kit Chief Ison says she asked other officers to look for napkins so she could stop the bleeding.

"She is trying to control the bleeding for one of the wounded and she uses every piece of equipment in her in her trauma kit," Ison said. "I remember seeing her yell out to other officers to 'go to one of the restaurants and get me a bag of napkins.' They bring the napkins back to her and she's packing the wounds with napkins."

Despite all efforts from officers and paramedics, Rosa and her husband Pedro Pineda died from multiple gunshot injuries.

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Officer Schenk is the first woman to join the Greenwood Swat Team. She turned down WRTV's request for an interview because she did not want to relive the trauma of that day.

Once Schenk finished helping with victims, she headed into the mall to evacuate people that were still hiding inside the stores.

READ | One year later, Greenwood Park Mall mass shooting

In the newly released bodycam video, you can see Schenk walking and running threw the mall and saying things like "Hands up, everybody is okay, hands up," while at the same time attempting to soothe the kids undergoing the trauma and anxiety.

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"That human aspect, the empathy, in the midst of the chaos . It's just remarkable," Ison said.

The gunman killed his first victim as he left the restroom to the food court. That victim was Victor Gomez who's family was in the ladies restroom

"He carried both of the kids out of the restroom to safety, but imagine the small children carried them out as quickly as possible," Ison said.

Densmore and Schenk were among the hundreds of law enforcement officers looking for answers inside and outside of the 1.2 million square foot retail center.

Hours later, the Greenwood Police Department Swat Team targeted the gunman's apartment on the southside of Indianapolis. As they approached his apartment, they smelled something that raised their concerns.

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On the newly released bodycam video, one of the officers can be heard saying, "It smells in here."

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Once inside, the officers noticed the oven was turned on.

One member of the Swat Team can be heard over his body camera says "There is something in this F---, in the F---- oven. It blew up already."

Another officer remarks, "He was trying to destroy his laptop."

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Police later released that the gunman had placed a laptop and a can of butane inside of his oven and turned it on.

"We're prepared that we can handle this type of thing and we got it right. We've got to continue to train, we've got to continue to learn, we've got to continue to learn." said Ison.