Wednesday, December 12, 2012

At least one dead in US mall shooting, gunman down

Emergency vehicles parked outside the Clackamas Town Center, south of Portland, Oregon after a shooting on December 11, 2012. Photo/AFP

Emergency vehicles parked outside the Clackamas Town Center, south of Portland, Oregon after a shooting on December 11, 2012. Photo/AFP  AFP

By AFP

At least one person was killed Tuesday when a gunman opened fire at a mall in the western US state of Oregon, sparking panic before he was "neutralized," police and media said.

There were also "multiple wounded" in the Clackamas suburb south of Portland, a sheriff's spokesman said, after local media reported a gunman wearing body armour opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle near a Macy's department store.

"We believe there's at least one deceased and maybe more," said Clackamas County Sheriff's Office spokesman James Rhodes, adding: "We know there are multiple wounded."

"We believe that the shooter... has been neutralized... This is no longer an active shooter," he told reporters, while adding: "We don't believe there are any other shooters, but we're gonna search the mall."

The Oregonian newspaper cited a staff member, sports columnist John Canzano, as saying he heard as many as 60 shots fired while he was shopping at the mall. Live TV pictures showed emergency vehicles converging on the scene.

"A bunch of people were screaming and running by and kind of in a panic and they were yelling that there was a shooting," a man who gave his first name as Sam told KGW television.

A correspondent for the TV station cited another witness as saying the gunman was wearing a white mask and body armour, and was carrying an assault rifle.

"It was shot after shot after shot after shot, like a massacre. It was the scariest thing I've ever seen," witness Kira Rowland, who was at the mall with her six-month-old baby son, told KGW.

"I'm really freaking out right now," she added. "We just ran like hell. Everybody was just screaming."

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