PORTLAND, Ore. (December 12, 2012)—A shopping mall in suburban Portland, Ore., remained closed Wednesday while crime scene experts detailed the shooting that left three people dead and one wounded and sent the mall Santa and thousands of shoppers running.
Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts says the gunman, Jacob Tyler Roberts, 22 armed himself with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle he stolen from someone he knew and had several fully loaded magazines.
Roberts says the rifle jammed during the attack, but said the gunman managed to get it working again.
A law enforcement official told The Associated Press the gunman did not have a criminal record.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of an ongoing criminal investigation.
Clackamas County sheriff's Sgt. Adam Phillips said the gunman evidently fired at random before taking his own life at the Clackamas Town Center.
There's no known connection between the gunman and the man and woman who were killed and the young woman who was wounded.
Cindy Ann Yuille, 54, who was described as "everybody's friend" and Steven Mathew Forsyth, 45, a father of two, died in the attack.
Oregon Health & Science University Hospital in Portland said the wounded victim, Kristina Shevchenko, was in serious condition.
Phillips says Tuesday's shooting at a mall with 7,000 customers and 2,000 employees could have been much worse.
Stores and police followed training from a shooting drill at the mall earlier this year.
Clackamas County sheriff's Lt. James Rhodes says law enforcement personnel who flooded the Clackamas Town Center in response to the afternoon shooting didn't fire any shots.
Witnesses described a scene of chaos and disbelief as the gunman wearing some sort of camouflage outfit and a white mask shot an initial burst of fire and then more rounds near the mall's food court.
Many shoppers fled and others hid in the backrooms of stores.
Macy's employee Austin Patty said the man carrying a rifle and wearing a bulletproof vest proclaimed, "I am the shooter" and then fired several shots seconds apart.
Patty says there were rapid-fire shots in short succession and then he ducked to the ground and ran.
Shaun Wik says he was shopping with his girlfriend and opened a fortune cookie at the food court. Inside was written "live for today, remember yesterday, think of tomorrow."
As he read, he heard three shots.
He said he heard a man he believes was the gunman shout, "Get down!" but Wik and his girlfriend ran.
“If I had looked back, I might not be standing here,” he said.
Another witness told KGW-TV that she was shopping at Macy's with her infant son when the shots started.
First she grabbed the baby from the stroller and got on the ground.
Then she says she put the baby back in the stroller "and ran like hell."