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

(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.

Police and medics work the scene of a multiple shooting at Clackamas Town Center Mall in Portland, Ore.
Police and medics work the scene of a multiple shooting at Clackamas Town Center Mall in Portland, Ore.   (AP Photo/Greg Wahl-Stephens)
In this image taken from video provided by KPTV in Portland, emergency personnel gather outside the Sears store at Clackamas Town Center in Portland, Ore., after a shooting Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012.
In this image taken from video provided by KPTV in Portland, emergency personnel gather outside the Sears store at Clackamas Town Center in Portland, Ore., after a shooting Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012.   (AP Photo/KPTV)
In this image taken from video provided by KPTV in Portland, emergency vehicles are parked outside Clackamas Town Center in Portland, Ore., after a shooting Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012.
In this image taken from video provided by KPTV in Portland, emergency vehicles are parked outside Clackamas Town Center in Portland, Ore., after a shooting Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012.   (AP Photo/KPTV)
Map locates a shooting at a mall in Portland, Oregon.
Map locates a shooting at a mall in Portland, Oregon.   (AP)
Police and medics outside the scene of a multiple shooting at Clackamas Town Center Mall in Portland, Ore., Tuesday Dec. 11, 2012.
Police and medics outside the scene of a multiple shooting at Clackamas Town Center Mall in Portland, Ore., Tuesday Dec. 11, 2012.   (AP Photo/Greg Wahl-Stephens)
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It was pandemonium. People were diving under stuff, shoving each other, running to get out the door. - Security guard Shaun Wik

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