‘I felt like sitting ducks,’ woman says after Oregon mall shooting leaves 3 dead

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

By Holly Yan and Catherine E. Shoichet, (CNN) — The masked gunman worked his way across the mall, terrifying holiday shoppers who had no clue where he’d fire next.

Entire swaths of Clackamas Town Center turned silent. The only sounds were the blasts from the man’s rifle and the ensuing screams. Even the mall’s Santa dropped to the ground.

“I thought I was going to die,” mall employee David Moran said. “The gunshots were so loud, it was very scary. … Kids were crying. Parents were crying, too.”

Kira Rowland was holding her 6-month-old baby in Macy’s when the shots rang out.

“I threw my baby into the stroller and just started running because everybody was screaming and everybody just started to run,” she said.

Witnesses say at least 20 shots were fired Tuesday inside the mall, about 11 miles southeast of Portland, Oregon.

By the end of the rampage, three people lay dead, including the gunman from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. One young woman remains hospitalized, Clackamas County Undersheriff Matt Ellington said Wednesday morning.

Clackamus Mall ShootingThe injured woman was identified as Kristina Shevchenko by officials at the Oregon Health and Science University Hospital. She remains in serious condition, the hospital said.

Authorities have not identified the other victims, pending notification of relatives. Investigators have tentatively identified the shooter, believed to be in his early 20s, but are not releasing his name until they get confirmation.

The gunman wore a hockey mask and jogged through Macy’s wielding a rifle, a woman told CNN affiliate KOIN.

As some panicked customers bolted for the exits, others ducked under store counters or hid behind racks of clothing.

The suspect announced aloud that “I am the shooter” as he ran through Macy’s, said witness and store employee Austin Patty.

The shooter wore what looked like a hockey mask and a bulletproof vest, Patty said. He carried an assault rifle “like you would see in a video game.”

As the shooting started, Patty ran out of the store, warning everyone in his path that there was a shooter on the loose and ordering them out of the store.

The sheriff’s office could not confirm if the shooter had a bulletproof vest, but officials believe that a rifle was the weapon used, Ellington said.

Investigators are reviewing surveillance footage to get a better picture of what happened, he said.

Clackamus Mall Shooting

Erin Quackenbush-Baker was in a more vulnerable position — in the middle of the mall, at a kiosk with her grandmother and three young children.

“My 5-year-old was covering her ears and crying. I was frantic to find a place to run, and I looked back (at) my son in my stroller and glass is falling over us,” she said. “The shots were getting closer, and it sounded like he was getting closer.”

“I felt like sitting ducks, where we were.”

During a brief halt in the gunfire, a man in black fleece helped rush the family into a nearby Sephora store. That’s where Quackenbush-Baker and her children hid for an hour, “waiting to see if we were going to be shot or not.”

As word spread that the shooter was moving from store to store, customers at Sears burst into tears, Christina Fisher told KOIN.

“We were told to stand in a group by the top of the escalators and stay away from the windows out of the aisle. … We stood there for probably a good 20 minutes,” she said. “All of the sudden, somebody came through with a radio, yelling, ‘Get down!’ ”

As the melee unfolded, some customers watched television news reports about the shooting from inside the Sears entertainment center, Tylor Pedersen told affiliate KGW.

Antonio Charro spotted a wounded woman near a cell phone store and tried to help, but to no avail.

“She had apparently been shot in the chest, and I couldn’t get her turned over to help her,” said Charro, who had been shopping at the mall with his daughters. “There was no one around. She wasn’t breathing.”

Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said about 10,000 people were in the mall at the time.

No law enforcement officers fired any shots when they arrived, sheriff’s Sgt. Adam Phillips said.

The 1.4 million-square-foot mall will remain closed Wednesday as investigators look for clues about the attack. But the motive might never be known.

Rowland said she’s grateful she got distracted while shopping and didn’t venture further into the mall.

“I think if I hadn’t stopped to smell that perfume, that maybe me and my baby wouldn’t be here today.”

CNN’s Cristy Lenz, Chandler Friedman, Michael Martinez, Tom Watkins and AnneClaire Stapleton contributed to this report.

™ & © 2012 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


  • Anonymus

    This is my hometown there talking about im in Virginia now but i got a phone call from one of my family members and i hear there is a bunch of police and fire trucks and a "SHOOTING" ?!?! First the shooting in Denver CO at a theater now this, when will it stop. Im telling you people World War 3 is coming soon and we better be prepared.

  • jeniserban

    omg. this is so crazy! and people killing over ciggerates and followed o! all! bad! gee! seriously! so much crime and all! gee! bad! this is just so ugh! very bad! doesn't this get old?! sick and tired of hearing these bad stuff. i know life hard. but still! it hard! gee! heart goes out to all! gee! .why can't we all get along?!. seriously! it hard! :O :(!

  • Monica

    wow this is getting crazier. I am tired of hearing about people and their second amendment right to bear arms but yet we are having too many deaths. The time has come for us to tweak our laws in this country.

    • Brandon

      quite the contrary, if even one person in the area had a concealed pistol license and was armed, this tragedy could have been stopped before it got out of hand. If even 25% of citizens were armed, wouldn't you think twice before committing a violent crime?

  • Tim Ceballos

    Unfortunately you are both right and both wrong….. If there were stricter gun laws, it MIGHT have prevented…or helped to prevent this…However, if there were no gun laws and people could carry their fire arms as they wish, maybe someone would have shot this bastard between the eyes before he scared all the people, children and before he injured or killed someone. We should remember, guns do not kill people. People kill people. It wasn't the guns fault. If he would have ran around beating people and killing people over the head with a hard back book bible, would we try to outlaw religion? Think about it.

  • Kevin

    An "Assault rifle" is a rifle with selective firing modes. The man was wielding a rifle. My prayers go out to the victims, but the misuse of facts by the media sickens me. A responsible CCW at the scene is always 6-10 mins ahead of the best policeman.

Comments are closed.