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Police: Oregon mall shooter used stolen rifle
Question of the Day
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — 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, authorities said Wednesday.
Jacob Tyler Roberts armed himself with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and had several fully loaded magazines when he arrived at a Portland mall on Tuesday, Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said.
The sheriff said the rifle jammed during the attack, but Mr. Roberts managed to get it working again. He later shot himself. Authorities don’t yet have a motive but don’t believe he was targeting specific people.
Two people — a 54-year-old woman and a 45-year-old man — were killed, and another, Kristina Shevchenko, whose age could not be confirmed, was wounded and was in serious condition Wednesday.
Mr. Roberts, wearing a hockey-style face mask, parked his 1996 green Volkswagen Jetta in front of the second-floor entrance to Macy's and walked briskly through the store and into the mall and began firing randomly, police said.
He fatally shot Steven Mathew Forsyth of West Linn, Ore., and Cindy Ann Yuille of Portland, the sheriff said.
Mr. Roberts then fled along a mall corridor and into a back hallway, down stairs and into a corner where police found him dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot, authorities said.
People at the mall were heroic in helping get shoppers out of the building, including medical personnel who rendered aid, Sheriff Roberts said.
In response to previous mass shootings elsewhere, the first arriving officers were trained to form teams and go inside instead of waiting for SWAT. Employees at the mall also received training to handle such a situation.
“This could have been much, much worse,” Sheriff Roberts said.
The first 911 call came Tuesday at 3:29 p.m. PST, and officers arrived a minute later. By 3:51 p.m., all the victims and the gunman and rifle had been found. Four SWAT teams spent hours clearing the 1.4 million-square-foot mall, leaving shoppers and workers to hide in fear.
Mr. Roberts rented a basement room in a modest, single-story Portland home and hadn’t lived there long, said a neighbor, Bobbi Bates. Ms. Bates said she saw Mr. Roberts leave at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday wearing a dark jacket and jeans, carrying a guitar case. An occupant at the house declined to comment.
The mall Santa, Brance Wilson, was waiting for the next child’s Christmas wish when shots rang out, causing the mall to erupt into chaos.
About to invite a child to hop onto his lap, Mr. Wilson instead dove for the floor and kept his head down as he heard shots being fired upstairs in the mall.
“I heard two shots and got out of the chair. I thought a red suit was a pretty good target,” said Mr. Wilson, 68. Families waiting for Santa scattered. More shots followed, and Mr. Wilson crept away for better cover.
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