A gunman opened fire in a shopping mall in suburban Portland, Ore., on Tuesday, killing at least two people and severely injuring another before killing himself. About 3:30 p.m., the police said they received calls about a shooting in progress at the Clackamas Town Center in Happy Valley.
The police provided few details. "We believe that there was one and only one shooter involved," Lt. James Rhodes of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said in a televised news conference. "The shooter is dead of an apparent self-inflicted wound." He said that officers had fired no rounds.
The authorities did not immediately release the identity of the gunman or the victims.
At least 10,000 people were in the mall at the time of the shooting, the police said. Witnesses told local news agencies that the gunman was wearing dark clothing and a mask. As the gunman fired, shoppers and employees fled, some locking themselves in back rooms, said Sgt. Adam Phillips of the Sheriff's Office.
"I was sitting there by the door watching what was going on, and then some guy just ran by in a white mask and an assault rifle, and then I look out because I hear a few shots," Mariah Saldana, an employee at Macy's, told Portland's KGW television. "He's sitting there and he's pointing the gun at some people, so we ran to the fitting room, grabbed some people then ran out to the back exit to get out of there."
Shaun Wik, 20, a security guard, was in the mall's food court when gunfire erupted. He said he heard several bursts of gunfire, then someone he believed to be the gunman shouted, "Everyone on the ground."
"It was pandemonium," Mr. Wik said by telephone. "People were diving under stuff, shoving each other, running to get out the door."
There have been a number of shootings in public places across the country in recent months. In October, a gunman opened fire at a day spa in a Milwaukee suburb, killing three women, including his ex-wife, before killing himself. In August, in another Milwaukee suburb, a self-proclaimed white supremacist killed six people at a Sikh temple before being killed by the police. Two weeks before that, a gunman killed 12 people and wounded 60 in an attack on a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.nation
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.