Mall 911 calls: ‘All we heard were gunshots’

FILE - First responders stand outside where a gunman opened fire at the Clackamas Town Center shopping mall earlier in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012. Police say three people are dead, including the gunman.(AP Photo/Don Ryan)
FILE - First responders stand outside where a gunman opened fire at the Clackamas Town Center shopping mall earlier in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012. Police say three people are dead, including the gunman.(AP Photo/Don Ryan)

CLACKAMAS, Ore. (KOIN) — Calls poured into 911 as a 22-year-old gunman from southeast Portland opened fire this past December near the Clackamas Town Center’s food court.

Two people, plus the shooter, died.

On Wednesday, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office released the results of its investigation into the Dec. 11 shooting. The newly released details include evidence photos, 900 pages of documents related to its investigation and the audio recordings of the 911 calls.

Panic calls for help began nearly as soon as the first shot — of many — rang out.

Here are excerpts from some of those calls:

Caller: “It was right outside our store — all we heard were gunshots and someone running from outside the front of our store.  There is a window next to our store that is totally shattered.”

Caller: “It was just a horrid — 15 or 20 gunshots.”

Caller: “We’re at Macy’s upstairs fragrance.” Dispatcher: “Who was shot?” Caller: “I don’t know; I’m hiding under a register.”

Nine minutes after the first call — as shoppers rush exits –  a call came in from someone who had the shooter in sight.

Caller: “He’s got a white face mask on, black-on-black, he’s got a small black-on-black coat or shirt? Black on black coat.”

Dispatch: “Is he still shooting? Are you hearing any shots?” Caller: “Negative no shots. I know that he’s wearing black pants and black sweater and he has a ski mask on with an AR assault rifle.”

Some callers were so scared their voices could barely be heard.

Dispatch: “Are you calling about the shooting?” Caller: “Yes, yes, yes. Clackamas Town Center — he ran past the jewelry department.”

Sheriff’s deputies entered the mall through the Macy’s Home Store, which is where they thought the shooter was at the time. One deputy reported seeing empty AR-15 style magazines on the ground. Deputies cleared the store, but they had yet to find the shooter.

And so dispatchers began asking questions about the shooter’s location — and began getting word about casualties.

Caller: “Oh my god, someone is down by the Best Buy mobile. You need to get an ambulance here.” Dispatch: “They’re already being dispatched — hold on just a moment.” Caller: “Please hurry send an ambulance to Best Buy mobile.”

Later a call came in from a woman tending to a shooting victim who survived. The wounded woman felt pain but didn’t realize she had been shot.

Dispatch: “Where’s the pain?” Caller: “It’s on the right side next to her ribs and she has holes in her sweater.”

Thirty minutes after the first calls were made, two people lay dead in the mall. A third person — referenced in the call above — was seriously injured.

The gunman took his own life; his body was found in a mall corridor.

Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said investigators still don’t know what the shooter’s motive was. However, Roberts believes the shooter planned to flee after the shooting but saw police outside and turned around.

 

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