PORTLAND, Ore. A masked gunman wearing camouflage opened fire Tuesday
in a busy Portland mall, leaving the gunman and two others dead and one
person injured, and forcing the mall's Santa Claus and hundreds of
Christmas shoppers and employees to flee or hide among store displays.
Patty, 20, who works at Macy's, said he saw a man in a white mask
carrying a rifle and wearing a bulletproof vest. He heard the gunman
say, "I am the shooter," as if announcing himself. A series of
rapid-fire shots in short succession followed as Christmas music played.
Patty said he ducked to the ground and then ran.
Macy's co-worker, Pam Moore, told The Associated Press the gunman was
short, with dark hair. Witnesses said he started firing just outside
Macy's in the food court of Clackamas Town Center.
See Also: Witnesses recount scene of chaos in mall shooting
Brance Wilson, the mall Santa, said he heard gunshots and dove for
the floor. By the time he looked up, seconds later, everyone around him
had cleared out. Merchandise was scattered in some stores as he made his
way to the door.
"Santa will be back," Wilson said. "It's not going to keep Santa away from the mall."
and shoppers rushed out of the mall and into stores'backrooms for
safety as teams of police officers came inside to find the shooter.
Authorities went store-to-store to confirm that there was only one
shooter and to escort hiding shoppers outside.
said they have tentatively identified the gunman but would not release
his name or give any information on a possible motive. They said he
apparently killed himself, adding that they did not fire any shots.
Officials said a female teenager was also shot and was in serious condition at a Portland hospital.
have a young lady in the hospital fighting for her life right now,"
Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts at a news conference late
Earlier, Roberts told reporters, "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
Witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots, anywhere from 15 to 20, or even more.
"At first no one really knew what was going down," Mario, a kiosk worker inside the mall, told CBS affiliate KOIN in Portland. "We heard six shots at first, and then people scattered like crazy, everybody left."
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Adam Phillips said the victims were shot in an "open area" of the mall.
Town Center is one of the Portland area's biggest and busiest malls,
with 185 stores and a 20-screen movie theater. It would remain closed at
least through Wednesday, Roberts said.
Shaun Wik, 20,
from Fairview, said he was Christmas shopping with his girlfriend and
opened a fortune cookie at the food court. Inside was written: "Live for
today. Remember yesterday. Think of tomorrow."
read it, he heard three shots. He heard a man he believes was the gunman
shout, "Get down!" but Wik and his girlfriend ran. He heard seven or
eight more shots. He didn't turn around.
"If I had looked back, I might not be standing here," Wik said. "I might have been one of the ones who got hit."
Bautista, 28, said she was shopping at Macy's for a Christmas dress for
her daughter when she heard pops that sounded like firecrackers.
"I heard people running and screaming and saying `Get out, there's somebody shooting,"' she told the AP.
said hundreds of shoppers and mall employees started running, and she
and dozens of other people were trying to escape through a department
Tiffany Turgetto and her husband were leaving
Macy's through the first floor when they heard gunshots coming from the
second floor of the mall. They were able to quickly leave through a
Barnes & Noble bookstore before the police arrived and locked down
"I had left my phone at home. I was telling
people to call 911. Surprisingly, people are around me, no one was
calling 911. I think people were in shock."