3 Dead In Mall Shooting Near Portland, Oregon [VIDEO]
3 people are dead including the gunman in a shooting at the Clackamas Town Center near Portland, Oregon.
The shots were first fired at 6:30PM EST (3:30PM PST). Shoppers and employees ran out of the mall or hid inside offices, stores and restrooms in the mall. Police are searching the mall for people hiding to let them know all is clear as they collect evidence.
Clackamas County sheriff's Lt. James Rhodes told reporters at a press briefing, “I can confirm the shooter is dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound" adding no law enforcement rounds were fired in the mall. He was identified only as an adult male.
Rhodes would not confirm reports that the gunman was wearing a white mask. The gunman's weapon has been recovered and police say he acted alone.
The victims have not been identified. An 18 year old woman was treated for injuries at a hospital according to KPTV TV.
Rhodes also would not confirm the gunman's point of entrance into the mall but many eyewitness accounts center on the mall's Macy's..
The mall will remain closed on Wednesday according to their Facebook page.
KATU TV reports the gunman ran into the mall from Macy's and began firing an assault weapon as he walked through the mall's food court towards JC Penney hollaring "I am the shooter." KATU reports the rifle jammed and the gunman ran back into Macy's.
The station also reports a Christmas concert going on in the food court as the shooting took place.
Santa Claus, who is stationed outside Macy's, offered reassuring words on KGW TV that he is OK and not injured. Witnesses reported seeing Santa drop to his knees but he was only taking cover and not shot.
CNN reports a man entered the mall via Macy's and headed for the mall where he began firing as many as 60 shots. Witnesses say he was wearing a white mask similar to that seen in the movie "V For Vendetta" and body armor.
Some customers gathered in the electronics department at the mall's Sears store watching TV coverage of the shooting reports CNN.
Kira Rowland told KGW-TV that she was shopping at Macy's with her infant when the shots started.
"All of a sudden you hear two shots, which sounded like balloons popping," Rowland told the station. "Everybody got on the ground. I grabbed the baby from the stroller and got on the ground."
Rowland said she heard people screaming and crying. "I put the baby back in the stroller and ran like hell," Rowland said. "It was awful. It was shots after shots after shots like a massacre "It was just awful."
Another witness told the station she saw people screaming and parents grabbing their children as they fled the mall.Witnesses say the gunshots sounded like balloons popping.
The mall has about 185 stores and a 20-screen movie theater among anchor tenants that also include Nordstrom and J.C. Penney. Sheriff's deputies said it would remain closed during the investigation of the shooting, but it wasn't clear how long that would take.
The Associated Press contributed to this report