On Tuesday night, a masked gunman opened fire at a mall in Portland, Oregon. The gunman, identified as Jacob Tyler Roberts, was killed along with two victims. No motive has been released in the attack and Roberts did not have a criminal record, according to police. Roberts was dressed in camouflage and was carrying a rifle. He also had on a bullet proof vest, according to witness Austin Patty, an employee at the Macy’s.
Patty said he heard the gunman exclaim, “I am the shooter,” and then multiple rapid-fire shots occurred. The shooting began outside of the Macy’s in the food court at the Clackamas Town Center. The mall’s Santa, Brance Wilson, said, “Santa will be back. It’s not going to keep Santa away from the mall.”
As police officers entered the mall to find the shooter, shoppers and employees took cover behind store displays and in store backrooms. Lt. James Rhodes, from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, reportedly said that Roberts was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound that killed him.
“We have a young lady in the hospital fighting for her life right now,” Sheriff Craig Roberts said at a news conference late Tuesday.
One shopper, Shaun Wik, was at the mall Christmas shopping with his girlfriend. As he read his fortune cookie in the food court he heard eight gunshots. His fortune cookie read: “Live for today. Remember yesterday. Think of tomorrow.”
“If I had looked back, I might not be standing here,” Wik said. “I might have been one of the ones who got hit.”
Another witness, Kira Rowland, was at the mall with her infant son when the shooting began.
“All of a sudden you hear two shots, which sounded like balloons popping,” Rowland told KGW-TV. “Everybody got on the ground. I grabbed the baby from the stroller and got on the ground.”
Once police found Roberts and determined that there was just one shooter, they went to each store to escort patrons and employees from the mall to safety. Tiffany Turgetto was in Macy’s with her husband when the shooting started. She and her husband escaped through a Barnes & Noble.
“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.”
The victims of the shooting have been identified as Cindy Ann Rule and Steven Forsyth. A third victim was still in the hospital as of Wednesday in serious condition. She has been identified as Kristina Shevchenko.