Suspect, 2 others dead after Clackamas Town Center shooting


by Staff

Posted on December 11, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 11 at 7:26 PM

PORTLAND – A gunman and two victims were dead after a man went on a shooting rampage inside the Clackamas Town Center mall Tuesday afternoon.

A witness told KGW that up to 60 shots were fired by a man wearing a white mask and body armor, armed with a large assault-type rifle. The shooting took place at about 3:30 p.m. at the Southeast Portland area mall.

“All of a sudden, I just heard a series of gunshots… boom, boom, boom, boom, boom… whatever the shooter was shooting at, they continued to shoot,” said shopper Bill Hoff.

Several witnesses reported hearing the suspect announce "I am the shooter," before he began firing.

Witnesses said the suspect fired several times until the rifle jammed and he the dropped a magazine onto the floor, then ran into the Macy's store.

“It was just shot after shot after shot. It was terrible. It was like a massacre,” witness Kira Rowland said.

Deputies said that the shooting suspecct and two victims were dead and another victim was taken to the hospital with traumatic injuries. Multiple other people were hurt, according to deputies.

Lieutenant James Rhodes of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said at a news conference just before 5 p.m. that the suspect had been "neutralized." Later police said the shooter was dead but did not identify him or the weapon used.

“We believe there was one and only one shooter involved and that shooter is deceased,” Rhodes later said. Police did not think there were any other suspects.

Any witnesses were asked to contact police at (503) 655-8211.

Family members seeking info can call CCSO non-emergency number: 503-655-8211

Hundreds of people were evacuated and police officers were methodically searching the mall for any injured or hidden customers and employees.

KGW reporter Abbey Gibb said people were crying and shaking as they came out of the mall.

Dax McMillan, a former police officer, said a friend of his was right next to one of the victims. He said she told him that the gunman aimed at her but his gun jammed and she ran.

Witness Benjamin Christensen, who works in the mall, said he was also there when the shooting began. He heard one shot, then six or seven more. He then began helping to evacuate others out of the rear exits.

“There were just cops everywhere and sirens and ambulances coming in. I hope everyone is okay,” said a shopper named Isabel, who fled after the shooting. “It’s so close to a holiday. It’s terrible.”

Another witness told KGW she heard several gunshots near Nordstrom, before people ran for cover.

Reporter Pat Dooris described a heavy police and emergency vehicle presence as well as "a lot of chaos." One witness told him security forces helped shoppers get down to the ground and out of site after the shots were fired.

“A deputy is about 50 yards away from me. He has a shotgun out, he’s hiding behind a car,” said John Canzano, a well-known local sports columnist who happened to be at the mall at the time said.

The mall exit from Interstate 205 was closed by police until just after 5 p.m. Police said the mall would remain closed during the investigation.