On December 11, 2012, a shooting occurred at the
Clackamas Town Center in Portland, Oregon, United States.
The gunman, 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts, ran
into the shopping center wearing tactical clothing and a hockey mask
and opened fire on shoppers and employees with a stolen Bushmaster
AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, firing as many as 60 shots, killing two
people and seriously wounding a third person before committing
suicide. Roberts had no connection to any of his victims, and it was
believed to be a random act of violence.
Prior to the shooting, Roberts is stated to have
stolen an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle from an acquaintance of his. He
arrived at the Clackamas Town Center by car, parking it at the south
side of the mall between a Macy's and a Chipotle store. He ran into
the mall through a department store at around 3:25 pm, wearing a white
hockey mask and a load-bearing vest and armed with the AR-15; he was
also carrying several fully loaded magazines. About 10,000 people were
inside the mall at the time. People who first saw him run into the
mall believed the tactical clothing and hockey mask was a paintball
outfit and that the rifle was a toy.
Standing in a large atrium, Roberts first opened
fire at the mall's food court that was across from him at his left,
after shouting, "I am the shooter!" 46-year-old father of two and
youth sports coach Steven Forsyth, who was sitting by a rented kiosk
and talking with his father on his cell phone, was shot in the head
and killed. The next to be shot was 54-year-old shopper Cindy Ann
Yuille, a hospice nurse and mother of two who was fatally shot in the
back by what appeared to be a "stray bullet". 15-year-old Kristina
Shevchenko, who was walking through the mall with her friend to reach
the Town Center MAX station, was the final person to be shot; she
received a bullet to the chest, but she survived and made it out of
the mall, where she was treated for her gunshot wound.
At this point, hundreds of people fled the mall
after hearing the gunshots, but many remained inside and dashed to
cover. Roberts headed further toward the food court, firing at
16-year-old employee Alina Pavlenko, who was over 100 feet away, but
missed. He then turned back and headed toward a JCPenney store. He
attempted to reload the AR-15 at that point, but was unable to do so,
the weapon having apparently jammed. During that time, Nick Meli, a
concealed carry permit holder, drew his Glock 22, and took aim at
Roberts but did not fire since there was an innocent person behind
Roberts. Meli asserts that Roberts saw him, and that this may have
contributed to Roberts' decision to commit suicide.
Roberts then ran into a back storage corridor,
where he encountered employee Rok Sang Kim, who had returned from
recycling boxes and therefore hadn't heard the gunfire. Roberts
pointed the rifle at him, but didn't shoot him, instead running down a
flight of stairs onto a lower floor. There, he committed suicide.
In the chaos of the first few minutes after the
shooting, there were expectations of mass casualties. Police responded
to the scene minutes later and spent the following hours searching the
mall for hiding civilians, injured victims, and a possible second
shooter, while dozens of ambulances arrived with the expectations of
treating dozens of wounded victims, but treated only Kristina
Shevchenko for a serious gunshot wound.
By the next day, the mall was cleared of civilians,
but continued to remain under lockdown. It is believed Roberts
targeted random people and did not have a specific target in mind.
Two people were killed in the shooting, 54-year-old
Cindy Ann Yuille and 45-year-old Steven Forsyth. A third person,
15-year-old Kristina Shevchenko, was also shot in the chest and
seriously injured, but survived. Several others also suffered minor
bruises and scrapes suffered while fleeing.
In the day following the shooting, Clackamas County
Sheriff's Office identified the shooter as 22-year-old Jacob Tyler
Roberts (born March 16, 1990), who lived in the Lents neighborhood in
southeast Portland. Raised by his aunt, Roberts' biological mother
died at the time of his birth, and he had never met his father.
He attended Milwaukie High School in Milwaukie,
Oregon for the first three years and later transferred during his
senior year to Oregon City High School in Oregon City, Oregon,
graduating in 2008. He attended Clackamas Community College in 2009.
Two years prior to the shooting, Roberts worked at a gyro restaurant
in downtown Portland.
Roberts lived with a few roommates in a house ten
minutes away from the shopping center. He had plans of joining the
United States Marine Corps, but he abandoned these dreams after a
bicycle accident that broke his foot. Prior to the shooting, he had
broken up with his girlfriend, sold his belongings, resigned from his
job, and alleged that he was planning to move to Hawaii.
When President Barack Obama delivered a speech
regarding the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting (the same day of
that shooting), he mentioned other shooting rampages that occurred in
the U.S. within previous months, and including a reference to the
Clackamas Town Center attack.
Oregon mall shooting appears to be lone, random rampage
By Teresa Carson - ChicagoTribune.com
December 12, 2012
Oregon (Reuters) - A masked gunman who opened fire in a crowded Oregon
mall in the middle of the holiday shopping season, killing two people
and wounding a third before taking his own life, appears to have acted
alone in a random rampage, police said on Wednesday.
identified the man behind Tuesday's shooting as Jacob Tyler Roberts,
22, who they said had no significant criminal history and acted
without any obvious warning, though his Facebook page indicated an
affinity for guns and alcohol.
Roberts' page on
the social media site lists "shooting" as one of his interests but
offers no clues that he may have been preparing for a shooting spree.
conductor of my choo choo train," he wrote on the site. "I may be
young but I have lived one crazy life so far. My friends are my family
and I don't think that will ever change."
television station KGW published on its website a note of apology it
attributed to Roberts' mother, Tami Roberts, saying she had "no
understanding or explanation" for his behavior, adding that it was "so
out of his character."
The weapon used
in the shooting was an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, which the Clackamas
County Sheriff's Office said was stolen the day before from an
acquaintance of the killer.
Roberts was also
believed to be carrying several fully loaded ammunition magazines when
he walked into the Clackamas Town Center in the Portland suburb of
Happy Valley and moved swiftly to a food court to start shooting,
Two people were
killed - Steven Mathew Forsyth, 45, of suburban West Linn, a father of
two who owned a business in the mall, and Cindy Ann Yuille, 54, of
Shevchenko, 15, was wounded but managed to stagger away from the food
court to the lower level of the mall, where she was found. She was in
serious condition in an Oregon hospital.
But the carnage
likely was limited because the gun jammed, although the suspect
managed to get it working again before he moved downstairs and shot
himself, Sheriff Craig Roberts told a news conference.
He also said the
casualty count was curtailed because the estimated 10,000 shoppers in
the mall "kept a level head" for the most part in swiftly leaving the
they remained baffled about what prompted the violence, the latest in
a spate of U.S. gun rampages this year including a deadly July
shooting at a midnight screening of a Batman film in Colorado that
killed 12 people.
Phillips, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, said investigators
were not aware of any signs that Roberts was preparing to act as he
is that he acted solely alone in carrying out this heinous and tragic
crime," he said.
contacted several members of the suspected gunman's family as they
began their investigation, but authorities gave little information
about Roberts' personal background, employment history or education.
A photograph of
Roberts displayed by police showed a young man with longish, straight
black hair, a light mustache and goatee, and ring-sized discs in each
of his pierced earlobes.
Facebook page offered few additional insights into the man suspected
in the murderous rampage.
himself in a brief biography as "a bit of an adrenaline junkie," and
as "a pretty funny person that takes sarcasm to the max." Professing
an independent streak, Roberts said: "I'm the kind of person that is
going to do what I want."
He starts out
jokingly introducing himself as "Jake and I'm an alcoholic," then goes
on to write that in addition to "hanging out with my friends" he likes
to "maybe get a little drunk every now and then."
includes a snapshot of a person firing a pistol at two outdoor
targets, though the face is not visible because the photo was taken
from over the subject's shoulder.
In addition to
"shooting," he lists river rafting and camping among his interests. He
also counts the cable television dramas "Dexter," about a serial
killer, and "Breaking Bad," about a high school teacher who becomes a
methamphetamine kingpin, among his favorites, along with "South Park."
Heroes stepped up during deadly mall shooting
By Steve Benham - Katu.com
December 12, 2012
CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said there
were many who jumped into action to help Tuesday afternoon when a lone
gunman opened fire in a crowded mall, killing two and seriously
The shooter then took his own life by apparently shooting himself,
had some true heroes stepping up," Roberts said during a news
conference nearly five hours after the first shots were reported at
the Clackamas Town Center at about 3:30 p.m.
room nurses and a physician were at the mall when the gunfire erupted,
and they immediately went to work to provide care to the wounded, he
said. Others, including everyday citizens, also worked to help get the
10,000 people out of the mall.
"We have a young lady
at the hospital fighting for her life right now," Roberts said about
the seriously injured victim who was taken to the hospital. She was
listed in serious condition Tuesday night.
Roberts did not offer specifics about individuals
who provided on-scene help.
"The mall is supposed to be a place that we can all
take our families. ... These things aren't supposed to happen," he
said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their
While police say they believe the gunman killed
himself and no law enforcement officers fired a shot, Roberts said
responding officers handled the situation admirably.
"I'm really proud of all the different agencies
that came together to really step up and put their lives on the line,"
he said, adding that there were law enforcement officers at the mall
minutes after the first reports of shots.
Four SWAT teams were quickly deployed, "basically
to hunt down this guy in the mall," Roberts said.
At the height of the terror, over 100 officers from
nearly every government agency – from the city to the federal levels –
Now in the aftermath, the focus for police turns to
the investigation. The job for investigators is to sort through the
speculation to find the facts. It will be complicated due in part to
the size of the crime scene – a mall which is about 1.4 million square
Clackamas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Adam Phillips said
investigators will work to sift through dozens of interviews with
witnesses to create the most complete picture as possible as to what
"There is a lot of speculation going on about what
happened (and) what the circumstances were," he said. "Active shooter
situations and tense situations like this get perceived many ways. ...
We as law enforcement officers – our job is to collect all that
information and make it into a cohesive idea of what actually
Police have tentatively identified the shooter, an
adult male, but Phillips said they would not release his name until
they were 100-percent sure of his identity.
Police also have not released the names of the
victims, pending family notifications.
Because the investigation is in its infancy,
Phillips said he could not delve into what type of weapon the shooter
used or how many shots were fired.
"We're (the sheriff's office) are going to report
on what we actually know, not speculation," he said.
He said the belongings that were left behind by
mall patrons are secure, and the sheriff's office and Clackamas Town
Center officials will set up a process on how they can be retrieved.
He urged patience, however, because other aspects of the tragedy are
of higher priority.
Phillips encouraged those who were witnesses and
had not been interviewed to contact the sheriff's office at
503-655-8211. Or they can go to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office
website for more information.
Teams were still searching every inch of the mall
late Tuesday night to ensure everyone is out and that the mall is
safe. The mall will remain closed through Wednesday, police said.
Oregon Mall Shooter Jacob Roberts Quit His Job,
Seemed 'Numb' Before Attack
By Near Karlinsky and Colleen Curry -
December 12, 2012
In the days before he stole a semiautomatic weapon
and stormed into an Oregon shopping mall, killing two people in a
shooting spree, Jacob Roberts quit his job, sold his belongings and
began to seem "numb" to those closest to him.
Roberts' ex-girlfriend, Hannah Patricia Sansburn,
20, told ABC News today that the man who donned a hockey mask and
opened fire on Christmas shoppers was typically happy and liked to
joke around, but abruptly changed in the week before the shooting.
Roberts unleashed a murderous volley of gunfire on
the second floor of the Clackamas Town Center on Tuesday while wearing
the mask and black clothing, and carrying an AR-15 semiautomatic
weapon and "several" magazines full of ammunition. He ended his
barrage by walking down to the first floor of the mall and committing
"I don't understand," Sansburn said. "I was just
with him. I just talked to him. I didn't believe it was him at all.
Not one part of me believed it."
She said that in recent weeks, Roberts quit his job
at a gyro shop in downtown Portland and sold all of his belongings,
telling her that he was moving to Hawaii. He had even purchased a
She now wonders if he was really planning to move.
"He was supposed to catch a flight Saturday and I
texted him, and asked how his flight went, and he told me, 'oh, I got
drunk and didn't make the flight,'" she said. "And then this
happens... It makes me think, was he even planning on going to Hawaii?
He quit his job, sold all of his things."
Roberts described himself on his Facebook page as
an "adrenaline junkie," and said he is the kind of person who thinks,
"I'm going to do what I want."
Roberts, who attended Clackamas Community college,
posted a picture of himself on his Facebook page firing a gun at a
target. His Facebook photo showed graffiti in which the words "Follow
Your Dreams" were painted over with the word "Cancelled."
Sansburn said the pair had dated for nearly a year
but had broke up over the summer. Throughout their relationship, she
had never seen him act violently or get angry.
"Jake was never the violent type. He didn't go out
of his way to try to hurt people or upset people. His main goal was to
make you laugh, smile, make you feel comfortable. I never would have
guessed him to do anything like this ever," she said.
"You can't reconcile the differences. I hate him
for what he did, but I can't hate the person I knew because it was
nothing like the person who would go into a mall and go on a rampage.
I would never associate the two at all."
The last time she saw him, which was last week, he
"seemed numb," and she didn't understand why, she said.
"I just talked to him, stayed the night with him,
and he just seemed numb if anything. He's usually very bubbly and
happy, and I asked him why, what had changed, and said 'nothing.' He
just had so much he had to do before he went to Hawaii that he was
trying to distance himself from Portland," Sansburn said.
Sansburn said the last message she sent Roberts was
a text, asking him to stay, and saying she didn't want him to leave.
He replied "I'm sorry," with a sad face emoticon.
Police are still seeking information about what
Roberts was doing in the days leading up to the shooting. They said
today they believe Roberts stole the gun he used in the rampage from
someone he knew. They have searched his home and his car for other
clues into his motive.
Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said earlier
today on "Good Morning America" that he believes Roberts went into the
mall with the goal of killing as many people as he could.
"I believe, at least from the information that's
been provided to me at this point in time, it really was a killing of
total strangers. To my knowledge at this point in time he was really
trying, I think, to kill as many people as possible."
Sansburn said she has not talked to police.
Mall Shooter Told Ex-Girlfriend He Was Moving to
Roberts' mother, Tami Roberts, released a statement
through a friend today saying she had no explanation of her son's
"Tami Roberts wishes to express her shock and grief
at the events at Clackamas Town Center Tuesday," the friend said,
reading from a statement outside of Tami Roberts' home.
The friend noted that Tami raised Roberts, but was
not his biological mother. Sansburn said that Roberts' biological
mother had died when he was very young.
"She has no understanding or explanation for her
son's behavior...It's so out of his character," the friend said.
Officials from the Oregon City School District,
where Roberts graduated from Oregon City High School, were also
surprised at the news.
"This news is very shocking to those who knew Jacob
while at OCHS. He was known as a soft spoken and polite young man who
was often eager to be helpful. The motive for such a horrific act is
likely to remain a mystery to us all," the district said in a
Roberts had attended the school for only his senior
year. He spent three years at Milwaukie High School, where officials
described him as an "average student with average grades."
He had no disciplinary record at the school, but
chose to transfer for his senior year to Oregon City High School,
according to Joe Krumm, an administrator at the North Clackamas School
District. Krumm did not know why he transferred, and said that in all,
Roberts did not stand out in memory for anything in particular.