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Oregan mall shooter acted alone

The Oregon man who opened fire in a crowded shopping before shooting himself, acted alone.

Emergency vehicles at the Clackamas Town Center mall after a shooting on 11 December 2012. Picture: AFP
World

CLACKAMAS, OREGON - A masked gunman who opened fire in a crowded Oregon mall in the middle of the holiday shopping season, killing two people and wounding a third before taking his own life, appears to have acted alone in a random rampage, police said on Wednesday.

Investigators identified the man behind Tuesday's shooting as Jacob Tyler Roberts, 22, who they said had no significant criminal history and acted without any obvious warning, though his Facebook page indicated an affinity for guns and alcohol.

Roberts' page on the social media site lists "shooting" as one of his interests but offers no clues that he may have been preparing for a shooting spree.

"I'm the conductor of my choo choo train," he wrote on the site. "I may be young but I have lived one crazy life so far. My friends are my family and I don't think that will ever change."

Portland-area television station KGW published on its website a note of apology it attributed to Roberts' mother, Tami Roberts, saying she had "no understanding or explanation" for his behaviour, adding that it was "so out of his character."

The weapon used in the shooting was an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, which the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said was stolen the day before from an acquaintance of the killer.

Roberts was also believed to be carrying several fully loaded ammunition magazines when he walked into the Clackamas Town Centre in the Portland suburb of Happy Valley and moved swiftly to a food court to start shooting, authorities said.

Two people were killed - Steven Mathew Forsyth, 45, of suburban West Linn, a father of two who owned a business in the mall, and Cindy Ann Yuille, 54, of Portland.

Kristina Shevchenko, 15, was wounded but managed to stagger away from the food court to the lower level of the mall, where she was found. She was in serious condition in an Oregon hospital.

But the carnage likely was limited because the gun jammed, although the suspect managed to get it working again before he moved downstairs and shot himself, Sheriff Craig Roberts told a news conference.

He also said the casualty count was curtailed because the estimated 10,000 shoppers in the mall "kept a level head" for the most part in swiftly leaving the building.

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