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Shooting at Oregon Mall.

Posted by on Dec. 12, 2012 at 9:58 AM
  • 3 Replies


The masked gunman who opened fire in the crowded Clackamas Town Center mall in suburban Portland, Ore., killing two and seriously injuring a third before killing himself, was trying to "kill as many people as possible."

The shooter, wearing a white hockey mask, black clothing and a bullet proof vest, tore through the mall just before 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, entering through a Macy's store and heading to the food court and public areas spraying bullets, according to witness reports.

Police have identified the gunman, but have not released his name, Sheriff Craig Roberts told "Good Morning America."

"We have been able to identify the shooter over this last night," Roberts said. "I believe, at least from the information that's been provided to me at this point in time, it really was a killing of total strangers. To my knowledge at this point in time he was really trying, I think, to kill as many people as possible."

Police have not released the names of the shooter's victims. Clackamas County Sheriff's Department Lt. James Rhodes said authorities are in the process of notifying victims' families.

The injured victim, identified by hospital officials as Kristina Shevchenko, has been taken to a hospital, according to Roberts.

Nadia Telguz, who said she was a friend of Shevchenko, told ABC News affiliate KATU-TV in Portland that the woman was expected to recover.

"My friend's sister got shot," Teleguz told KATU. "She's on her way to (Oregon Health and Science University Hospital). They're saying she got shot in her side and so it's not life-threatening, so she'll be OK."

Witnesses from the shooting rampage said that a young man who appeared to be a teenager, ran through the upper level of Macy's to the mall food court, firing multiple shots, one right after the other, with what is believed to be a black, semi-automatic rifle.

By 4:40 p.m., police reported finding a group of people hiding in a storeroom. In a surreal moment, even the mall Santa was seen running for his life.

"I didn't know where the gunman was, so I decided to kind of eased my way out," said the mall Santa, who the AP identified as 68-year-old Brance Wilson.

More than 10,000 shoppers were at the mall during the day, according to police. Roberts said that officers responded to the scene of the shooting within minutes, and four SWAT teams swept the 1.4 million-square-foot building searching for the shooter. He was eventually found dead, an apparent suicide.

"I can confirm the shooter is dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," Rhodes said. "By all accounts there were no rounds fired by law enforcement today in the mall."

Roberts said more than 100 law enforcement officers responded to the shooting, and the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are working with local agencies to trace the shooter's weapon.

Cell phone video shot at the scene shows the chaos soon after the shooting. When police arrived they were met head on by terrified shoppers, children and employees streaming out. Customers, even a little girl, were being lead out with their hands up.

"I think a variety of things happened that I think this could have been much, much worse," Roberts told "GMA." "And to give you some ideas, we got the call at 3:29, we had someone on scene within a minute, 30 seconds.

"I think we had a lot of, really, what I consider heroes, of citizens stepping up and helping people get out of the facility," he added. "There were just some really amazing people who stepped up and I think this really could have been much worse."

Mall shopper Daniel Martinez told KATU that he had just sat down at a Jamba Juice inside the mall when he heard rapid gunfire. He turned and saw the masked gunman, dressed in all black, about 10 feet away from him.

"I just saw him [the gunman] and thought, 'I need to go somewhere,'" Martinez said. "It was so fast, and at that time, everyone was moving around."

Martinez said he ran to the nearest clothing store. As he ran, he motioned for another woman to follow. Several others ran to the store as well, hiding in a fitting room. They stayed there for an hour and a half until SWAT teams told them it was safe to leave the mall.

Witness Amber Tate said she was in the parking lot of the mall when she saw the shooter run by, wearing a mask and carrying a gun, headed for the Macy's.

"He looked like a teenager wearing a gun, like a bullet proof vest and he had a machine, like an assault rifle and a white mask and he looked at me," she said.

Other witnesses described the shooter as determined, looking straight ahead. He then seemed to walk through the mall toward the other end of the building, shooting along the way, according to witness reports.

"He looked like he was on a mission," survivor Vicki Napoli told ABC News.

Witnesses told KATU they heard "pops" and then saw the mall Santa fall to the ground. The man dressed as Santa, Wilson, told KATU that he wasn't concerned at first by what sounded like balloons popping.

"Then when I heard about 18 more shots, I decided it was a semi-automatic and I hit the floor and my employees must have just scattered and got out of there because when I got up there was nobody there but me," he said.

Others interviewed said that Macy's shoppers and store employees huddled in a dressing room to avoid being found. "I was helping a customer in the middle of the store, her and her granddaughter and while we were looking at sweatshirts we heard five to seven shots from a machine gun fire just outside my store," Jacob Rogers, a store clerk, told KATU.

"We moved everyone into the back room where there's no access to outside but where there's a camera so we can monitor what's going on out front," Rogers said.

Evan Walters, an employee of a store in the mall, told ABC News Radio that he was locked in a store for his safety and he saw two people shot and heard multiple gunshots.

Former FBI agent and ABC News contributor Brad Garrett said the shooter's mask is typical for mass shooters, who often dress up in costume or wear something other than their regular clothes when they open fire in public.

"The biggest thing for a mass shooter is the control and empowerment for the shooting," he said. "It isn't uncommon for shooter to wear a costume, or sometimes simply to dress in black. In this case, apparently, he wore a hockey mask. He went there being someone other than who he is in reality because it gives him power."

Garrett called the shooting one of the worst scenarios for law enforcement, as malls are more crowded than ever during the holiday shopping season.

"The thing about mass shooters is that they almost always are premeditated. They are planned," Garrett said. "This shooter I'm sure went through some period of steps before he actually reached going to mall, and there'll be signs or systems either through friends, online, through relatives that will play into understanding why he committed this act."

by on Dec. 12, 2012 at 9:58 AM
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by on Dec. 12, 2012 at 1:18 PM

 They identified the shooter as 22 year old Jacob Tyler Roberts. He killed a 45 year old man from West Linn, Oregon and a 54 year old woman from NE Portland. They found 1 weapong which was an AR 15 and he had several fully loaded clips for that weapong. So he was planning on hurting a lot of people. He died a self inflicted gun shot.

by on Dec. 12, 2012 at 1:19 PM


by Courtney on Dec. 12, 2012 at 1:28 PM
This is just heartbreaking.
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