Three dead after masked gunman opens fire at Portland shopping centre
Wednesday 12 December 2012
A US mall shooting that left three people dead and forced hundreds of Christmas shoppers to flee in terror appears to have been a random attack, authorities said today.
The masked gunman, who was one of the three dead at the mall in Portland, Oregon, was seemingly targeting "anyone who was in his line of sight," according to Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts.
"It was very apparent that he had a mission set forth to really take the lives of people in that mall," Roberts said.
Police said they have tentatively identified the gunman, but would not release his name.
The Tuesday afternoon shooting at the busy mall started shortly after a man in a white mask carrying a rifle and wearing a bulletproof vest said: "I am the shooter," according to Austin Patty, 20, who works at a department store.
A series of rapid-fire shots followed as Christmas music continued to play.
Witnesses said the suspect fired several times near the mall food court until the rifle jammed. He then dropped a magazine onto the floor and ran into the Macy's store.
Some were close enough to the shooter to feel the percussion of his gun.
"I saw a gentleman face down, obviously shot in the head," said Jason DeCosta, the manager of company with a display on the mall's ground floor.
"A lot of blood. You could tell there was nothing you could do for him."
Mr DeCosta said he also saw a woman on the floor who had been shot in the chest.
Officials said a woman was also shot and was in critical condition at a Portland hospital.
"We have a young lady in the hospital fighting for her life right now," Sheriff Roberts said at a news conference.
Police Lt James Rhodes said the gunman was dead, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Authorities went store-to-store to confirm that there was only one shooter, he added.
The mall Santa, Brance Wilson, said he heard gunshots and dived to the floor. By the time he looked up, seconds later, everyone around him had cleared out. Parents with children joined other shoppers rushing to stores' backrooms for safety.
"Santa will be back," Mr Wilson said. "It's not going to keep Santa away from the mall."
Shaun Wik, 20, 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."
As he 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.
"If I had looked back, I might not be standing here," Mr Wik said.
- 1 Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Fifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage from US parenting groups
- 4 McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli targeting policy under scrutiny after shellfire hits a mother and child, a school full of refugees and a doctor’s home
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
Costa Concordia finally towed from Giglio amid environmental concerns that cruise liner is a 'floating bomb'
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...
£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...