Cody Donovan, 22, of New Milford was arrested Monday night at the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, The (Hackensack, N.J.) Record reported. He was released on bail Tuesday.
Reports of a gunman at New Jersey's largest mall Monday night prompted a lockdown and a huge police response.
Early Tuesday morning, police found the body of Richard Shoop, 20, of Teaneck in a storage area. Investigators say Shoop went to the mall planning suicide and with no intention of causing harm to anyone.
Donovan, a former Marine police officer, had responded to the mall with other paramedics and said police had asked him to help direct cars out of the parking lot.
Ronald Salzano, a Bergen County police detective, said he began following Donovan because the jacket he was wearing matched the description witnesses gave of the gunman. In his report, Salzano said when he questioned Donovan he told the detective he had a gun tucked in his waistband and was there to help police make an arrest.