Police say Oregon mall gunman used stolen rifle


by Associated Press/Belo Affiliate


Posted on December 12, 2012 at 5:45 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Police say the gunman who killed two people and himself in a shooting rampage at an Oregon mall was 22 years old and used a stolen rifle from someone he knew.
   Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts says that Jacob Tyler Roberts had armed himself with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and had several fully loaded magazines.
   Roberts says the rifle jammed during the 22-year-old's attack, but he managed to get it working again.
   The chief says authorities don't yet have a motive.
   A law enforcement official has told The Associated Press the shooter did not have a criminal record. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of an ongoing criminal investigation.
   Two people were killed, and another was wounded.

A witness told KGW, a WHAS11 affiliate, 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. Local, state and federal agents swarmed and shut down the mall, searching and evacuating any remaining employees or shoppers.

PHOTOS: Clackamas Town Center shooting

Lieutenant James Rhodes of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office announced at a news conference just before 5 p.m. that the suspect had been "neutralized." Later police said the shooter was dead from a self-inflicted wound but did not identify him or the weapon used. No law enforcement officers fired any shots in the mall.

Traumatized shoppers described the chaotic shooting scene.

”I was sitting there by the door watching what was going on and then some guy just ran by in a white mask and an assault rifle and then I look out because I hear a few shots and he’s … and he’s sitting there and he’s pointing the gun at some people so we ran to the fitting room, grabbed some people then ran out to the back exit to get out of there," Macy's employee Mariah Saldana said.

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

MORE: Witnesses describe terror of Clackamas shooting

“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.

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.

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.

PHOTOS: Clackamas Town Center shooting

“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.