Clackamas Town Center shooting

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Clackamas Town Center shooting
Clackamas Town Center shooting memorial.jpg
Memorial to victims of shooting at mall entrance
Location12000 SE 82nd Avenue
Clackamas, Oregon, U.S.
Coordinates45°26′10″N 122°34′26″W / 45.436°N 122.574°W / 45.436; -122.574Coordinates: 45°26′10″N 122°34′26″W / 45.436°N 122.574°W / 45.436; -122.574
DateDecember 11, 2012 (2012-12-11)
3:28 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.[1][2] (PST)
Attack type
Shooting, murder-suicide
Weapons.223-caliber Stag Arms STAG-15 Model 2 semi-automatic rifle
Deaths3 (including the perpetrator)
PerpetratorJacob Tyler Roberts
DefenderNick Meli

On December 11, 2012, a shooting occurred at the Clackamas Town Center in unincorporated Clackamas County, outside the city of Portland, Oregon, United States. The gunman, 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts, ran into the shopping center wearing tactical clothing and a hockey mask and opened fire on shoppers and employees with a stolen Stag Arms AR-15 rifle. He fired a total of 17 shots, killing two people and seriously wounding a third. Having attempted to reload his weapon and dropping three magazines, Roberts entered a stairwell and committed suicide after descending one level because he encountered someone with a concealed carry permit who had drawn his gun. He had no connection to any of his victims, and it was believed to be a random act of violence.[3][4] The Clackamas Town Center has a posted policy of prohibiting firearms on the premises.[5]


Prior to the shooting[edit]

1973 AR-15, one of many models of the semi-automatic rifle used by the shooter

Sometime prior to the shooting, Roberts is stated to have stolen a Stag Arms STAG-15 AR-15-style rifle from an acquaintance. Immediately before the shooting, he visited a friend who lived two miles away from the Clackamas Town Center, smoked marijuana with him, and claimed that he was moving to Hawaii.[1] He drove to the mall sometime later and parked at the south side between Macy's and Chipotle Mexican Grill. He ran into the mall through Macy's department store at 3:28 p.m.,[1] wearing a white hockey mask and a load-bearing vest and armed with the AR-15. He was also carrying five loaded magazines, one of which he accidentally dropped in the parking lot while entering the mall.[1]

Roberts legally bought four additional standard capacity 30-round ammunition magazines and the ammunition to fill them at three local stores, including a Walmart, The Gunbroker, and Wholesale Sports Outdoor Outfitters. When he stole the unsecured AR-15 from a friend, it was loaded with a standard capacity 30-round ammunition magazine. Between 8,000 and 10,000 people were inside the mall at the time. People who first saw him run into the mall believed the tactical clothing and hockey mask were a paintball outfit and that the rifle was a toy.[6]


Standing in a large atrium, Roberts first opened fire at the mall's food court that was across from him at his left. The first person shot was 54-year-old shopper Cindy Ann Yuille, a hospice nurse and mother of two who was shot in the back; she died despite efforts of bystanders to treat her wound.[1] 15-year-old Kristina Shevchenko, who was walking through the mall with her friend to reach the Town Center MAX station, was the second person to be shot; she received a bullet to the chest, but she survived and made it out of the mall, where she was treated for her gunshot wound.[6] The final victim was 46-year-old father of two and youth sports coach Steven Forsyth, who was sitting by a rented kiosk and talking with his father on his cell phone when he was shot in the head and killed.

At this point, hundreds of people fled the mall after hearing the gunshots, but many remained inside and dashed to cover. Roberts headed further toward the food court, firing at 16-year-old employee Alina Pavlenko, who was over 100 feet away, but missed. He also dropped three other magazines in his possession.[1] He then turned back and headed toward a JCPenney store. He attempted to reload the AR-15 at that point, but was unable to do so, the weapon having apparently jammed. During that time, Nick Meli, a concealed carry permit holder, drew his Glock 22, claimed to have taken aim at Roberts, but did not fire since there was a bystander behind Roberts. Meli claims that Roberts saw him and that this may have contributed to Roberts' decision to commit suicide.[7]

Shooting ends[edit]

Roberts then ran into a back storage corridor, where he encountered employee Rok Sang Kim, who had returned from recycling boxes and therefore hadn't heard the gunfire. Roberts pointed the rifle at him, but didn't shoot him, instead running down a flight of stairs onto a lower floor. There, he committed suicide at 3:50 p.m.[6] In the chaos of the first few minutes after the shooting, there were expectations of mass casualties. Police responded to the scene minutes later and spent the following hours searching the mall for hiding civilians, injured victims, and a possible second shooter, while dozens of ambulances arrived with the expectations of treating dozens of wounded victims, but treated only Kristina Shevchenko for a serious gunshot wound.[6] Roberts fired only seventeen rounds during the entire shooting, including the one to kill himself. An additional 128 rounds were found in the magazines he dropped and on his person.[1]

By the next day, the mall was cleared of civilians, but continued to remain under lock-down. It is believed Roberts targeted random people and did not have a specific target in mind.[8][9][10]


Two people were killed in the shooting, 54-year-old Cindy Ann Yuille and 45-year-old Steven Forsyth. A third person, 15-year-old Kristina Shevchenko, was shot in the side of the chest and seriously injured, but survived.[1][10] Several others also suffered minor bruises and scrapes suffered while fleeing.[6]


Jacob Tyler Roberts
Jacob Tyler Roberts
BornMarch 16, 1990
DiedDecember 11, 2012(2012-12-11) (aged 22)
Cause of deathSuicide by gunshot wound
Body discoveredClackamas Town Center, Clackamas, Oregon, U.S.
ResidenceLents, Portland, Oregon, United States

Jacob Tyler Roberts (March 16, 1990 – December 11, 2012) was identified as the sole perpetrator of the shooting. He lived in the Lents neighborhood in southeast Portland.[8] Roberts was raised by his aunt Tami Roberts; his biological mother, Teresa Anne Roberts, died from cancer in February 1993, shortly before his third birthday. Court records and family indicated that the identity of his father is unknown. He had been estranged from his aunt Tami Roberts since the time he was 18 years of age, though the aunt declined to comment on the reason, saying only that it was unrelated to an $18,000 inheritance from Roberts's grandmother that court documents allegedly show Tami Roberts misappropriated.[11] He attended Milwaukie High School in Milwaukie, Oregon for the first three years and later transferred during his senior year to Oregon City High School in Oregon City, Oregon, graduating in 2008. He attended Clackamas Community College in 2009.

Two years prior to the shooting, Roberts worked at a gyro restaurant in downtown Portland,[10][12] where he was well-liked by his employer.[11] Roberts lived with a few roommates in a house ten minutes away from the shopping center. He had plans of joining the United States Marine Corps, but he abandoned these dreams after a bicycle accident that broke his foot. Within a week prior to the shooting, he had broken up with his girlfriend, sold his belongings, resigned from his job, and alleged to his friends and colleagues that he was planning to move to Hawaii. He also purchased at least four magazines and hundreds of rounds of ammunition from local stores during that same timeline.[1][6]


When President Barack Obama delivered a speech regarding the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, he mentioned other shooting rampages that occurred in the U.S. within previous months, including the incident at the Clackamas Town Center.[13] On March 28, 2013, a candlelight vigil was held at the mall, organized against gun violence and one of more than 120 events held nationwide to commemorate the National Day of Action to Reduce Gun Violence.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Clackamas Town Center Shooting: After-Action Report"
  2. ^ "Clackamas shooting: A year later, impact of the tragedy still being felt at the mall"
  3. ^ Carson, Teresa (December 12, 2012). "Oregon mall shooting appears to be lone, random rampage". Reuters via Chicago Tribune.
  4. ^ Lydia Warren (December 13, 2012). "Jacob Tyler Roberts: Gunman in Oregon mall shooting identified". Daily Mail. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  5. ^ Code of Conduct
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Clackamas Town Center shooting: 22 minutes of chaos and terror as a gunman meanders through the mall"
  7. ^ "Clackamas mall shooter faced man with concealed weapon". KGW.
  8. ^ a b Martinez, Michael (December 12, 2012). "'I have lived one crazy life so far,' Oregon mall gunman says on Facebook". CNN. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  9. ^ Johnston, Ian; Raftery, Isolde (December 11, 2012). "Two people shot to death at mall in Portland, Oregon; gunman also dies". NBC News. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  10. ^ a b c Bella, Rick (December 12, 2012). "Clackamas Town Center shooting: Killer was Jacob Tyler Roberts; fatalities were Steve Forsyth, Cindy Ann Yuille". The Oregonian via Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  11. ^ a b Dubois, Steven; Rachel La Corte (December 14, 2012). "Jacob Tyler Roberts' Injury Dashed Oregon Mall Shooter's Hopes Of Being Marine". Huffington Post Crime. Huffington Post.
  12. ^ Anderson, Jennifer (December 12, 2012). "Shooter: 'I'm the kind of person who's going to do what I want'". Portland Tribune.
  13. ^ "Connecticut school shooting: Barack Obama calls for 'meaningful action, regardless of politics'". The Daily Telegraph. December 15, 2012.
  14. ^ "Candlelight vigil against gun violence to be held tonight at Clackamas Town Center"