It has happened again. Another shooter has taken the lives – and innocence – of the unsuspecting. The scene this time is the Clackamas Town Center Mall in suburban Portland, Oregon. The weapon? Reportedly an assault rifle. The victims? Unknown to the shooter. Two believed dead.
Where in the mall did it happen? Somewhere near Macy’s according to a live witness who saw victims bleeding on the floor as he attempted to escape through a side door. The violence spilled over to the nearby food court. A woman with a six month old child “ran like hell” away from the sound of the gunfire with her child in her arms.
We don’t know it all yet. This is just the first reporting. The shooter is described as “neutralized.” There has been no explanation of what that term means in this context. Dead? In custody?
Questions remain about whether there may have been another gunman, a partner. The authorities continue to investigate. Meanwhile the shoppers and shop workers are trapped, detained from leaving, prevented from going home to their loved ones while the investigation proceeds. You can imagine the panicked cell phone calls, the people still locked in stores waiting to be cleared, the families away from the scene wondering, scared.
More on this later. We will see how much so far is accurate and how much more is yet to be told.
Update. People are being released to leave now after interviews. No reports of an accomplice. So far it looks like a lone gunman. Folks report being herded into “safe areas” not knowing what was going on. The parking lot is full of ambulances, a triage tent, law enforcement.
“Today was my grand daughter’s first birthday, and I was just praying, ‘Lord let me live to see her grow up’.” That from a witness. Think of the trauma of the survivors, the witnesses, the families of the victims. People die, others frightened to their wits end, traumatized. I have no answers to the “why”? What is in the mind that takes the assault rifle to kill strangers?
Update 2 – This recent report from local news. A mother gets a text message from her daughter at the mall. The text tells her there is a shooter at the mall. There has been no contact since. The mother drove to the parking lot where she waits now, still no contact, waiting to learn her daughter’s fate.
It is now believed it was a lone gunman. Reports are that he was dressed in camo, wearing a white mask, wearing body armor, shouting, “I am the shooter!” as he killed and maimed.
Update 3 – Sheriff’s news conference. Lone Shooter. The shooter is dead. Two others, innocents, also dead. At least one other traumatic injury, life flighted from the scene.
Update 4 – Second Sheriff’s Department news conference: 6:33 pm PST. The shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot. Law enforcement fired no shots in the mall. The numbers of dead and injured have not changed. No names, yet. The only information is that the shooter was male.