- 911 tapes tell of fast-spreading fear among shoppers
- One caller begs dispatcher to tell cops to hurry up
- The gunman, Richard Shoop, later shot himself in the head
When a gunman opened fire at a sprawling New Jersey mall, sheer panic erupted. Shoppers begged police officers to rescue them while others whispered into phones, terrified the gunman was nearby.
911 tapes released Wednesday tell of fast-spreading fear among shoppers as a gunman fired Monday night. Shortly after, he fatally shot himself.
"There's somebody shooting!" a voice screeches in the 911 tapes released by the Bergen County Police Department. The tapes were obtained by CNN affiliate, WABC.
"I'm scared and I want to get out the mall," another caller told dispatchers.
"The cops, I can see the cops from the door ... is there any way you could reach one of the them and they could come in and get me?"
Others, scared the gunman was closing in, whispered to dispatchers.
"I don't hear any sirens here so please hurry."
More than 100 shoppers sought protection shortly after shots rang out.
"Somebody is shooting up Garden State Plaza right now, I am in the bathroom," one caller says.
The gunman, Richard Shoop, later shot himself in the head, authorities say. There were no other casualties.
Shoop's body was found early Tuesday in a back area of the mall hours after he fired at least six bullets without striking anyone in the massive shopping center. He acted alone, authorities say.
"We know that his intent was either suicide or to do something that would cause police to shoot him, which we call 'suicide by cop,' " Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli told CNN's New Day.
"He had more than enough opportunity to be able to shoot other people, including a group adjacent to him, but he didn't," Molinelli said. "Instead, he shot randomly at different locations."
Shots hit the ceiling, an escalator, an elevator and a storefront, the prosecutor said.
The reasons for the shooting remain unclear. Shoop used narcotic drugs and sold drugs as well, Molinelli said.
Shoop, dressed all in black and wearing a motorcycle helmet, walked through the mall with a rifle modified to look like an AK-47. The rifle was taken from his brother, according to Molinelli.
His hometown of Teaneck held a vigil for him Tuesday night.