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Heartbreaking

Fatal Oregon Mall Shooting Puts Fear in Holiday Shoppers' Hearts

by Julie Ryan Evans on December 11, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Portland ShootingIn tragic news out of Oregon tonight, a masked gunman opened fire on busy crowds of holiday shoppers at the Clackamas Town Center in suburban Portland. According to reports, at least two people were shot to death, and the gunman has been declared dead as well. At least one other person was injured, according to NBC.

It's terrifying to think how one minute shoppers were milling about looking for those perfect gifts and feeling that holiday cheer, and then suddenly shots rang out. Witnesses say the assailant ran in through a Macy's store around 3:30 p.m. wearing some kind of mask and body armor, and was carrying an assault rifle. As he started firing, panic ensued. The reports from witnesses are chilling:

Kira Rowland told KGW-TV she was shopping with her infant when it started:

All of a sudden you hear two shots, which sounded like balloons popping. Everybody got on the ground. I grabbed the baby from the stroller and got on the ground. I put the baby back in the stroller and ran like hell. It was awful. It was shots after shots after shots like a massacre.

Tiffany Turgetto told the AP:

People in front of us people were dropping, finding covering. People were yelling screaming and gasping, yelling to get out. The lady next to us, she threw a chair and started running. We couldn't run because the chair was there.

Terrifying. It's these kind of random acts of violence that chill me to the bone. To think that your life can change in one split second because you decided to stop off and get your dad a tie instead of going to the gym just makes my head swim, and it makes me trust those around me even less.

So far no identification of the shooter has been released nor any kind of motive announced. But eventually I'm sure it will come out, and we'll question and wonder and see things in hindsight, but nothing will bring these people back to life. Every time one of these tragedies takes place it always makes me wonder how many others like this assailant are out there planning, just waiting until they can carry out their violent plan. Because there always seems to be another.

And now as we race toward the holidays with plenty of shopping left to do, we're left with fresh fears, and a renewed sense of worry and distrust as we head to the malls ... or don't. No, these incidents don't happen every day, but the fact that they could happen ANY day is terrifying.

 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Do you worry about random shootings like this when you're in crowded places? Will it make you less likely to go to a mall this holiday season?

 

Image via MSNBC

Filed Under: crime, in the news

Comments

8
  • Karla...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Karla C. Mulrenan

    December 11, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    wow... I live in clackamas county and had no clue this just happened..


  • randh...
    --

    randhferedinos

    December 12, 2012 at 12:53 AM
    I was only a couple miles from there today. So surreal, praying for the families of the victims.
  • Felly...
    --

    FellyScarlett

    December 12, 2012 at 2:30 AM
    Wow, I was just at a mall not far from there with my dad. This is seriously scary. That could have been us. I'm so sad for the victims and their families.
  • justj...
    --

    justjess09

    December 12, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    I almost went to the mall with my kids today,so glad that I didn't!!!  It was scary watching it on tv,I don;t know what I would have done if I had been there with my babies. 


  • alway...
    --

    alwayscurious

    December 12, 2012 at 2:59 AM
    Hm. our small town mall is so sparsely populated that I don't worry about it. Walmart,, however, is a different story.
    prayers for the people affected by this random act of evil.
  • Kat
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Kat

    December 12, 2012 at 6:25 AM
    I live about 10 minutes from there and Im still in shock. I go there with friends, family... My son. A lot. I can't believe this happened here. You hear about this kind of thing on the news but you never thing it'll happen so close to home...
  • Austi...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Austin Keenan

    December 12, 2012 at 10:29 AM
    It won't cause me to not go anywhere or do anything. If something remotely unusual happens I'll probably hit the deck or run though. The days of standing around and wondering what's happening are long gone.
  • Kate
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Kate

    December 12, 2012 at 10:32 AM
    I was there at that mall, in that food court an hour before. I had just got finished watching a group of kids dressed up with their orchestra instruments perform. If he had been there an hour 1/2 earlier that food court was packed. Such a horrible random act of evil. Police figure he just wanted to kill as many people as possible.
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