Evidence that Trolley Square Mall in Utah occurred in a "gun free zone"
N.W. Clayton fills us in on additional information about this shooting. Off-duty police officer Hammond, who stopped the attack, "was at the opposite end and on a different floor of the convoluted Trolley Square complex when the shooting began. By the time he became aware of the shooting and managed to track down and confront Talovic, three minutes had elapsed." It is fortunate that the off-duty officer ignored the posted signs, but the point is that the killer was not stopped from taking his guns into the Mall just because guns were banned there. One wonders how many more lives could have been saved if law-abiding Utah citizens had been able to carry a gun into the Mall and gotten on the scene in less than 3 minutes. I understand that theoretically under state law permit holders could still carry their guns into the Mall despite the posted signs, but there appears to be some confusion and debate about this issue and courts have upheld gun bans in company parking lots.
I got a note from Janlee Tobias noting to me that: "You may also be interested to know that on Monday night's Channel 2 (KUTV) www.kutv.com broadcast, a witness said words to the effect, 'I saw the shooter. I looked for something to throw at him, but all I could find was a stool.' Then the witness saw the off-duty Ogden police officer and directed him to the shooter."
Utah has 79,353 permit holders, 4.6 percent of the adult population. (I don't know the breakdown for permit holders by whether they are in-state and out-of-state residents.
A detailed timeline of events is provided here. My earlier post is here.
I have also contacted other enclosed malls in the area, but none of the other ones that I have contacted had posted bans on concealed handguns. Among the ones that I contacted were The Gateway Mall (801-456-0000), The South Towne Center Mall (801-572-1517), City Creek Center ((801) 238-5320), the Fashion Place Mall (801-262-9447), Valley Fair Mall (801-969-6211), and the Foothill Village Mall (801-487-6670).
Thanks to N.W. Clayton for sending me this.
UPDATE: CBS News: "Police: Off-Duty Cop Saved Lives In Mall"
An off-duty police officer having an early Valentine's Day dinner with his wife was credited Tuesday with helping stop a rampage in a crowded shopping mall by an 18-year-old gunman who killed five people before he was cut down.
A day after the shooting, investigators struggled to figure out why a trench-coated Sulejmen Talovic opened fire on shoppers with a supremely calm look on his face.
The teenager wanted to "to kill a large number of people" and probably would have killed many more if not for the off-duty officer, Police Chief Chris Burbank said.
Ken Hammond, an off-duty officer from Ogden, north of Salt Lake City, jumped up from his seat at a restaurant after hearing gunfire and cornered the gunman, exchanging fire with him until other officers arrived, Burbank said.
"There is no question that his quick actions saved the lives of numerous other people," the police chief said.
"I feel like I was there and did what I had to do," Hammond told reporters. After spotting the gunman, he told his pregnant wife to take cover in the restaurant and went to confront the suspect. . . .