New Jersey News
Mall gunman's family, friends speak out
TEANECK, N.J. (WABC) -- New details are coming out about Richard Shoop's past and his family is talking about what happened.
Outside the home where Richard Shoop grew up in Teaneck, his brother told reporters that Shoop meant no harm to anyone at the Garden State Plaza mall last night anyone but himself.
"He just sadly decided to make an act of, an act of, I guess, self-indulgence, by taking his own life publicly," said Kevin Shoop, the gunman's brother.
Prosecutors didn't dispute that Tuesday, but they certainly implied that Richard Shoop was coping with problems.
"He was known as somebody that used drugs, abused drugs, dealt in drugs, which very well may have been the reason why he ultimately chose to do what he did last night," said John Molinelli, the Bergen County Prosecutor.
"He used a weapon that did not belong to him and he took his life with it. As far as anything that goes into the drugs, and any of the other rumors out there, no comment," Kevin Shoop said.
In Teaneck where Shoop worked at his local pizza parlor these past few years, his boss said Shoop went silent after Halloween and failed to show up at work.
"I mean I was calling him so many times, sending him messages, he never responded," said Robert Gega, the gunman's boss.
Eyewitness News does know of at least one friend that Richard Shoop texted, and like others, they all wish they knew the severity of his problems before it was too late.
"He would always tell me problems, he would always tell me about girls, but he never once told me that he was depressed or that he wanted to kill himself, it was completely unexpected," said Maddison Barbarini, the gunman's friend.
It was unexpected and tragic. But in Teaneck, they're grateful that Richard Shoop killed no one else. They remember him as a good friend and they feel for his family's loss as well.
"Obviously they did the best they could, and maybe he was in a lot of pain, but he didn't feel like he had to kill people in the process," said Debbie Rosalinsky, the gunman's neighbor.
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