Jacob Tyler Roberts, 22, has been named as the gunman who opened fire late Tuesday in the Clackamas Town Center shopping mall in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon .
Besides naming Roberts, the Clackamas Sheriff’s Office Wednesday have identified the victims as Cindy Ann Yuille, age 54, a resident of northeast Portland and Steven Mathew Forsyth, age 45, of West Linn.
The third victim — Kristina Shevchenko, a juvenile — survived the attack and is now being treated for her injuries at OHSU’s trauma center. She is listed in serious condition at this writing.
According to the Sheriff’s office, Roberts died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
During the attack, Roberts was armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, which was stolen yesterday from a person known to him. At the time of the attack, Roberts was wearing a load-bearing vest, but not a bulletproof vest, as had been reported. He was also wearing a hockey-style face mask.
The Sheriff’s office said they still haven’t established how many shots Roberts fired during the attack, although they believe he was carrying a large amount of ammunition. There are indications that the gun jammed that Roberts was using, which if the case contributed to there not being more victims.
After the Sheriff’s Office identified Jacob Roberts as the suspect in this case, deputies executed search warrants on his home — located at 7324 SE 84th Avenue in Portland, Oregon — and on his vehicle, a 1996 Volkswagen Jetta found in the Clackamas Town Center parking lot. Results of these search warrants are not being revealed at this writing.
At this writing, investigators have not determined a motive, but it appears that there was no prior relationship between the suspect and his victims.
The family of victim Forsyth released a statement saying that, “Steven Mathew Forsyth was a loving husband, father of two children, son, brother, uncle, youth sports coach and friend to the many people who had the privilege to meet him.”
“Steve was one of the most passionate people with a true entrepreneurial spirit that drove him to start his business, Coastoms. He had a great sense of humor and a zest for life. He had vision and a belief in others that brought great joy and value to many lives,” the statement continued, adding “He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”
The Yuille family also released a statement, noting that “Cindy was everybody’s friend. She was a wonderful person who was very caring and put others first.”
Both families have asked to not be contacted by the media.
At 3:29 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 12, the Clackamas Sheriff’s Office received multiple 9-1-1 calls reporting an active shooter at Clackamas Town Center, with the first unit arriving on-scene 1 minute later, at 3:30 p.m.
Once on scene, deputies initiated an “active shooter protocol” — a technique developed to deal with precisely this type of threat. In this protocol, rather than waiting for a SWAT team to deploy, individual officers are trained to form up in teams as they arrive and move immediately to engage the threat. This involves officers from different agencies being thrown together on short notice. Law-enforcement personnel on-scene executed this protocol to the highest standard, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Personnel were well-prepared for this incident because they had practiced active-shooter techniques at Clackamas Town Center earlier this year.
Police has previously said that four SWAT units were called to the scene, and they admitted that while the situation was chaotic as law officers had to evacuate over 10,000 shoppers in an area of 1.4 million square feet, the response was rapid and “they did it in record time.”
Prior to beginning his attack, Roberts parked his vehicle in the mall’s south lot, near Macy’s. He then moved north on foot through Macy’s towards the food court. He then opened fire, fatally wounding two victims. Crime Scene Investigators also found indications of additional bullet strikes throughout the food court area.
Roberts is believed to have then moved east — past the Macy’s Home Store and into a service stairwell.
Moving down onto the lower floor of the mall, he continued east towards JC Penney’s, where he was found dead by responding law-enforcement personnel — 22 minutes after the first 911 call.
At some point during this attack, Roberts wounded his third victim, Kristina Shevchenko, a juvenile. Shevchenko managed to exit the mall near REI, where law-enforcement personnel contacted her and began rendering medical assistance.
The mall remains closed today, however after it opens again for business, the Sheriff’s Office and mall personnel are planning for extra patrols.
The Sheriff’s Office said it wanted to “thank all of our local, state and federal law enforcement and emergency-services partners for their extraordinary efforts in this case. Several neighboring jurisdictions — including Oregon City and Woodburn — made the decision to send all of their on-duty officers to the scene.”
“Even after it was determined the suspect was deceased, this extraordinary level of cooperation and support continued — allowing the Sheriff’s Office to move ahead rapidly with this investigation,” the Sheriff’s Office said.
Participating agencies in this incident response included Police officers from Portland, Milwaukie, Gladstone, Oregon City, Canby, West Linn, Lake Oswego, Molalla, Woodburn and Sandy
Also assisting were Oregon State Police, FBI, ATF, Portland Transit Police, Clackamas Fire District #1, AMR, C-COM and The Portland CSI and Oregon State Police crime laboratories.