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Masked gunman terrorizes Oregon mall, killing two, then himself

 

A gunman who witnesses say was wearing camouflage and a white plastic mask opened fire in a shopping mall near Portland, Ore., killing two and wounding one other before killing himself, police said.

Authorities said in a press conference late Tuesday they have tentatively identified the gunman but would not release his name or give any information on a possible motive. Officials said a woman was also shot and was in serious condition at a Portland hospital.

"We have a young lady in the hospital fighting for her life right now," Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said.

Clackamas County sheriff's Lt. James Rhodes says law enforcement who flooded the Clackamas Town Center in response to the afternoon shooting didn't fire any shots.

The mall released a statement after the shooting, saying it would be closed on Wednesday.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who was in the mall at the time of this unfortunate incident," the Clackamas Town Center said on its Facebook page. "We are grateful to have the stellar support of all the law enforcement agencies and rescue personnel in the area, who immediately took action and continue to ensure the safety of everyone remaining on property."

Witnesses described a harrowing scene, as the gunman appeared to be dressed in body armor while firing off an estimated 60 shots from a semi-automatic rifle. One witness told KPTV that the gunman ran past her and her boyfriend and "had the look of death in his eyes."

Another witness, Kira Rowland, told KGW-TV that she was shopping at Macy's with her infant when the shots started.

"All of a sudden you hear two shots, which sounded like balloons popping," Rowland told the station. "Everybody got on the ground. I grabbed the baby from the stroller and got on the ground."

Rowland said she heard people screaming and crying.

"I put the baby back in the stroller and ran like hell," Rowland said. "It was awful. It was shots after shots after shots like a massacre.

"It was just awful."

Holli Bautista, 28, said she was shopping in the Macy's for a Christmas dress for her daughter when she heard a two or three pops that sounded like firecrackers.

"I heard people running and screaming and saying `Get out, there's somebody shooting'," she told The Associated Press. "It was a scene of chaos."

She said hundreds of shoppers and mall employees started running, and she and dozens of other people were trying to escape through an exit in the department store.

Bautista said the Macy's opens into the food court area, where it was reported the shootings took place. Bautista said it sounded like the shots were coming from that direction.

Once Bautista made it out of the mall, police officers were directed her and the other shoppers across the street to another shopping center.

As she looked across the street, Bautista said she could see hundreds of police officers, firefighters and emergency workers pouring in.

"They're coming in from multiple different agencies. There's tons of ambulances lined up," she said.

Macy's employees Pam Moore and Austin Patty told the AP the shooter was short, with dark hair, dressed in camouflage. He had body armor and a rifle and was wearing a white mask, they said.

"I heard about 20 shots and everyone hit the ground," Moore said. "That's when we all just ran."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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