Nothing’s sacred anymore,not even in this Yuletide season. Yesterday,around 3:30 pm PST, a mass shootout occurred at the Clackamas Town Center in a suburban area near Portland,Oregon called Happy Valley. This time of year, it’s expected that the shopping mall is full of people going about their usual Christmas shopping.
Initial and conflicting reports stated that a man entered throught the back doors of the mall’s Macy’s Dept. Store ,wearing either body armor or camouflage and even a hockey mask,carrying either a semi-automatic rifle, AK-47 or,machine gun, jogging along inside that store and going out into the adjoining mall food court. Several people had seen him and a few thought that it was just a dressup costume until he began shooting around near the food court area multiple times, some say as much as 20 rounds, making a lot of folks realize that he was carrying a real weapon. Many people began to panic and began running from the mall. Others(customers and mall employees) who couldn’t get out, stayed hidden inside their respective stores for their safety. Several people were believed to be shot.
Upon the first news conference, the police said that it was a lone gunman responsible and was “neutralized” meaning killed, upon further clarification from the press. Another 2 fatalities were initially transferred to a nearby hospital. It wasn’t determined yet if those people were mall employees or customers. Same with 1 individual with serious physical ,unspecifed injury enroute to a hospital as well.
Ongoing investigations have yet to determine if it’s terrorism- related or not. Both the Oregon State police and SWAT team have already secured the entire shopping mall as a crime scene. Around 10 ambulances are already on the scene ,building up triages for the possible wounded. For sure, they’ll look into the mall security cameras for any new info that they can use in their investigation.
Police already announced that more updates will be announced in the next news conference scheduled for today at 6: 30 AM PST.
This incident reminded me of 2 similar shootouts,one which occurred here in Toronto,Ontario,Canada just this past May at the Toronto Eaton Centre Mall food court and the other, on Dec. 2007 at the Von Maur Dept. Store in the Westroads Mall in Omaha,Nebraska.
As I had said time and time again, gun use regulation vs. gun control discussions will be ongoing. At the rate , this year of 2012,with so many shootouts happening , something really should be done! It’s as if no one has learned from all these horrible incidents.