A gunman opened fire on a crowd doing their Christmas shopping in a mall at 11900 Southeast 82nd Ave., Portland, Tuesday, killing two people and wounding a third before apparently killing himself. The incident happened at about 3: 20 p.m.local time.
According to a local news source Koinlocal6.com, first responders announced soon after the shooting that the scene had been secured and that the shooter was no longer a threat. Witnesses said they heard about 15 to 20 shots or more. According to The Inquistr, Twitter users reported the incident within 10 minutes:
There is a Shooter inside Clackamas Town Center Mall in #PDX Portland Oregon several people shot ,stay away Police on scene . #BreakingNews
— Maximum Miley(@maximummiley) December 11, 2012
A picture sent to us of a group taking shelter inside Clackamas Town Center after shooting. #ClackamasShooting. twitter.com/KATUNews/statu…
— KATU.com (@KATUNews) December 12, 2012
#BREAKING: Reports: Man with a rifle and body armor; est. 20 shots fired in #Portland, Oregon mall – @oregonian
— Micah Grimes (@MicahGrimes) December 11, 2012Fox News Insider also posted live updates of the first incident:
8:10p ET: Authorities confirm a gunman has killed one person. There are multiple reports that the gunman himself has also been killed. Ambulances are on scene lined up waiting for others who may be injured. Witnesses say a man walked in with what authorities confirm was an AR-15 rifle, dressed head to toe in camouflage except for a white mask and possibly body armor. He began shooting outside a Macy’s department store then made his way to a food court next to it on the upper level of the two-story mall. Witnesses say there was a “Santa scene” set up near the food court with a lot of kids and families.
8:46p ET: Three people have died including the gunman.
9:34p ET: In a press conference, Oregon police say the shooter died of what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. There were no shots fired by police. The mall will remain closed for as long as the investigation stays active. Police are in the process of contacting the family of the two deceased. Watch the press conference here.Koinlocal6.com reports that a female teenager was taken by ambulance to Oregon Health & Science University with serious injuries and at last report, she was in critical condition.
According to AP, there was chaos when the gun man, wearing a camouflage outfit and a mask, began firing rounds from an assault rifle near the food court at the Clackamas Town Center.
Koinlocal6.com reports that Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts, said at a press conference: "Today, there was about 10,000 people at the mall, so there were a huge amount of people running in different directions, and it was chaos for a lot of citizens."
Witnesses inside the mall reported hearing multiple gunshots, anywhere from 15 to 20, or even more. According to KOIN, Jacob Rogers, who works at the mall, said: "There were five to seven gunshots, machine gunshots, right outside my store. And then we ended up later seeing a clip just on the ground, between us, and 'Forever 21' and 'Macy's Home Furniture’… There were three employees and five customers in my store, and we all ran to the back, and we could see in my camera that shows our store entrance… SWAT team getting here fast, and then police here armed, yelling at us to close the gate."
As teams of police officers forced their way into the hall, panicky people rushed to the stores' backrooms for safety. Clackamas County sheriff's Lt. James Rhodes, said the gunman died from what appears a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
AP reports that Austin Patty, 20, who works at the store said he saw a masked man carrying a rifle and wearing a bulletproof vest. The gunman announcing himself, saying, "I am the shooter," before he fired several shots, seconds apart.
Patty said he dived to the ground and ran. A co-worker, Pam Moore, described the gunman as short and dark haired. Moore said: "I heard about 20 shots and everyone hit the ground. That's when we all just ran."
Holli Bautista, 28, was shopping in the Macy's for a Christmas dress when she heard gunshots. She said: "I heard people running and screaming and saying 'Get out, there's somebody shooting,' It was a scene of chaos."
She said hundreds of shoppers and mall employees ran to the exit and were all trying to escape at once.
AP reports that Brance Wilson, the mall Santa, also ran for cover after he heard gunshots. He promised: "Santa will be back. It's not going to keep Santa away from the mall."
According to AP, the mall is one of Portland area's busiest, in a middle-class area.