Breaking news in my area......dont read if sensitive about shootings.
Three dead, one injured in shooting at Clackamas Town Center
Shooter deceased, according to law enforcement officials
Originally published December 11, 2012 at 3:56 p.m., updated December 11, 2012 at 5:38 p.m.
A mass shooting at Clackamas Town Center in Oregon has resulted in three fatalities and one injury, according to reports coming from the scene.
The gunman is among the dead, officials said. Officials did not say if the shooter took his own life of was killed.
At 4:50 p.m., the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office reported that the shooter had been neutralized.
Spokesman James Rhodes said there were fatalities and multiple injuries but did not provide an exact count. He said there was at least one fatality, possibly more.
Rhodes did not say whether the shooter was one of the fatalities or explain what he meant by "neutralized."
The incident began about 3:30 p.m., when a gunman armed with an automatic weapon opened fire near the mall's food court.
An employee in the mall, Evan Walters, told KATU-TV that he and 10 others were in a shop near where the shooting occurred.
"It was kind of surreal because we hear pops and loud noises all the time because we're right here by the food court, but it's never been anything like that,” he said. “It was very definite gunshots. I think most all of us knew it was gunshots. There really was no rhyme or reason to them. There were many in a row."
Reporters on the scene are reporting up to 60 shots fired, possibly by an automatic weapon.
Kira Rowland told KGW-TV that she was shopping at Macy's with her infant when the shots started.
"All of a sudden you hear two shots, which sounded like balloons popping," Rowland told the station. "Everybody got on the ground. I grabbed the baby from the stroller and got on the ground."
Rowland said she heard people screaming and crying.
"I put the baby back in the stroller and ran like hell," Rowland said. "It was awful. It was shots after shots after shots like a massacre.
"It was just awful."
Holli Bautista, 28, said she was shopping in the Macy's for a Christmas dress for her daughter when she heard a two or three pops that sounded like firecrackers.
"I heard people running and screaming and saying 'Get out, there's somebody shooting'," she told The Associated Press. "It was a scene of chaos."
She said hundreds of shoppers and mall employees started running, and she and dozens of other people were trying to escape through an exit in the department store.
Witnesses are telling reporters that they saw a single gunman with a white mask and body armor.
Macy's employees Pam Moore and Austin Patty told the AP the shooter was short, with dark hair, dressed in camouflage. He had body armor and a rifle and was wearing a white mask, they said.
"I heard about 20 shots and everyone hit the ground," Moore said. "That's when we all just ran."
Early on, it was not clear if there was only one shooter.
At a press conference late Tuesday afternoon, Rhodes said "we can confirm at least one (shooter) has been neutralized." He said he was not positive if any other suspects are at large. A search was continuing.
Sunnyside Road and the southbound lanes of Interstate 205 were closed, according to reports. As of about 5:15 p.m., ODOT crews were preparing to open the I-205 southbound off-ramp to Sunnyside Road.
Three LifeFlight helicopters were brought in to evacuate victims. Two have been released and the third remains on standby in case it's needed.
The Oregonian reported that the weapon was an AR-15, the civilian version of an M-16 rifle.
The mall remains on lockdown at 5 p.m. as SWAT teams search for the shooter and possible victims, and work to evacuate employees and shoppers who took shelter during the shooting.
Shoppers and employees on scene are being interviewed by law enforcement officials on scene.
A perimeter was established around the mall. La Salle High School was put on lockdown.
One gunshot victim, immobile, was found near a Gentle Dental office at about 4:20 p.m.
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office issued this statement via Twitter: "Shooting at Clackamas Town Center. Multiple police at the scene. If you do not need to be at the mall, please stay away."
Sheriff's officials were also asking those in the vicinity of the mall to stay off their cell phones.
Tri-Met announced that lines 28, 29, 30, 31, 71, 72, 79, 152, 155 and 156 are not serving Clackamas Town Center due to the shooting.
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber issued the following statement in response to the shooting "My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. I appreciate the work of the first responders and their quick reaction to this tragic shooting. Oregon State Police Superintendent Rich Evans is on the scene. I have directed State Police to make any and all necessary resources available to local law enforcement."
This story will be updated.