Oregon Mall Shooting Gunman Wore Hockey Mask

Witnesses describe chaotic scene
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2012 4:10 AM CST
Updated Dec 12, 2012 7:58 AM CST
Police and medics work the scene of a multiple shooting at Clackamas Town Center Mall in Portland, Ore.    (AP Photo/Greg Wahl-Stephens)
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(Newser) – Hundreds of people ran or took cover during chaotic scenes as a gunman opened fire in an Oregon mall yesterday, killing 2 people before apparently taking his own life. "I heard two shots and got out of the chair. I thought a red suit was a pretty good target," the Portland-area mall's Santa tells the AP. Police say around 10,000 people were in the mall when the gunman, wearing a hockey mask and possibly body armor, opened fire. A security guard says he heard shots before a shout of "Everyone on the ground," the New York Times reports.

"I was by Santa Claus in front of Macy's when we heard, 'Pow. Pow. Pow,'" a World War II veteran who saw a crowd of terrified shoppers fleeing tells the Oregonian. "People screamed and ran. I saw Santa drop to the floor." Some shoppers and mall workers hid for hours while police made sure there was only one shooter. Police say they have tentatively identified a 22-year-old suspect but have not released a name or any information on a possible motive. A 15-year-old girl was seriously injured but police say the toll could have been much worse. Witnesses say the gunman's rifle jammed soon after the rampage began. (Read more Oregon stories.)

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