A madman opened fire at a mall packed with terrified shoppers who ran for their lives.
The gunman has been identified as 20-year-old Richard Shoop.
Nationally prominent Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a close friend of Michael Jackson's, was at the mall with his family and told us how his wfe and daughter hid in terror in the back of a store.
"One of the sales people there came in and said, 'I just saw the gunman. He's wearing a helmet. He's dressed in full body armor.' And he said he was carrying an AK-47 and pointed it up in the air they heard six shots," said Boteach.
Richard Shoop killed himself in a mall storage room early Tuesday morning as cops closed in.
Shoop lived here in Teaneck, New Jersey, just a five minute drive from the Garden State Plaza Mall. Cops say the weapon he used to spread terror at the mall and ultimately end his own life was stolen from his brother. It was legally registered.
Shoop was a wanna-be model and was listed at an online acting and modeling agency called Explore Talent. In one photo, he stands in front of a poster for American History X, the 1998 Ed Norton movie about Neo Nazis.
The shooting at the New Jersey mall is a chilling reminder of those almost impossible to imagine images from Kenya in September as shoppers and employees fled in terror and hid with their children while terrorists roamed through the mall slaughtering 67 people.
So, what can you do to keep safe at the mall? INSIDE EDITION's Paul Boyd spoke to security expert Steve Kardian.
Kardian said, "Before you even get there, create a blueprint of what you would do "if." Second thing, identify the exits, find three you could go to in different locations in the mall."
He says run if you hear gunshots.
"The first 10 seconds are the most critical time period. Run away from the carnage, not towards it," instructed Kardian.
If the exits are blocked, hide.
"Find a small area because it's likely the shooter is going to bypass you. He's looking for the masses, not individuals," noted Kardian.
Police across the country are training for the nightmare of a crazed gunman at the mall.
At Los Cerritos Center in Los Angeles today, SWAT teams dropped from helicopters and heavily armed cops rushed inside a mall during a drill that took place just hours after the moment of madness in New Jersey.