Police rapid-response teams came into the mall with guns drawn, telling everyone to leave. Shoppers and mall employees who were hiding stayed in touch with loved ones with cellphones and texting.
By 3:51 p.m. the attack was over. The gunman had fled to a lower level of the mall and was found dead by his own hand, with the weapon nearby, police said.
The gun had earlier jammed, but the gunman was able to fix the problem, thus allowing the weapon to be used on himself, Roberts said.
The mall remained closed Wednesday with guards protecting the area. In a prepared statement, the mall operators praised the law enforcement response and said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who was in the mall at the time of this unfortunate incident.”
The two dead were identified as a 54-year-old woman, Cindy Ann Yuille, and Steven Forsyth, 45.
Marijean Johnson of West Linn, Ore., said her son Hunter, 13, and Steve Forsyth’s son, Alex, are good friends. She described Forsyth as an “amazing man, very caring, very loving.” Johnson said Forsyth coached youth football and basketball in West Linn.
“He was fabulous, very good at communicating with the boys,” she said.
She said Forsyth had coached her son in basketball and would take Hunter on trips to the beach. “He was a man I could trust to take care of my child,” Johnson said.
Injured in the attack was Kristina Shevchenko, 15, who was listed in serious condition, Oregon Health & Science University spokeswoman Tamara Hargens-Bradley said in a telephone interview.
According to Shevchenko’s sister, Emilia, Kristina “is doing better, she was in serious condition and she is now stabilized.”
Kristina was walking through the center, en route to a mass transit station about 3:30 when the gunman opened fire. Kristina routinely walked through the mall every afternoon to get from school to her home, the family told NBC. She is a freshman at Clackamas Middle College, a charter school in the North Clackamas School District, her family said.
Kristina had been close to danger before, her family said, when she was a passenger in a van that was involved in a traffic accident in August. An Oregon man, who later died from his injuries, had allowed his pickup truck to cross a center line, hitting the van.