Gunman kills two at Oregon mall before taking own life

Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:21am EST
 
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By Teresa Carson

HAPPY VALLEY, Oregon (Reuters) - A gunman opened fire inside an Oregon shopping mall on Tuesday in the middle of the busy Christmas season, killing at least two people, critically wounding a young woman and terrorizing holiday shoppers before shooting himself to death, police said.

The afternoon shooting rampage at the crowded Clackamas Town Center in the Portland suburb of Happy Valley touched off panic inside the mall, sending thousands of shoppers streaming out as police and fire crews arrived on the scene.

Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said the lone gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and that law enforcement officers who descended on the scene had not fired a single shot inside the mall. A single weapon was recovered.

"The mall is supposed to be a place where we can take our families. He took the lives of two people and a young lady is at the hospital fighting for her life right now," Roberts said.

The wounded victim was taken by helicopter to a hospital where a spokeswoman said she was in serious condition.

The incident marked the latest in a string of shooting rampages this year that included the killing of 12 people and wounding of 58 others at a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Colorado.

In Oregon, police evacuated terrified shoppers, who were reported by local media and via Twitter to have hidden in the back rooms of shops as gunshots rang out in the 1.4 million- square-foot mall.

"Shooting in the middle of clackamas town center. I'm stuck in the back room of build a bear!" one person tweeted.   Continued...

 
Police and emergency vehicles surround the Clackamas Town Center shopping mall in Portland, Oregon, December 11, 2012. A gunman opened fire inside an Oregon shopping mall on Tuesday in the middle of the busy Christmas season, killing at least two people and terrorizing holiday shoppers before shooting himself to death, police said. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola