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Monday, December 17, 2012

Facebook Profile of Gunman in Oregon Shopping Mall Shooting

6:05 p.m. | Updated About 10,000 people were inside the Clackamas Town Center mall in suburban Portland, Ore., on Tuesday when a gunman, identified on Wednesday as 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts, began shooting in the food court around 3:30 p.m.

As my colleagues Kirk Johnson and Serge F. Kovaleski report, two people, Steven M. Forsyth, 44, a mall business owner, and Cindy Ann Yuille, 54, a hospice nurse, were killed and a 15-year-old girl was seriously injured before Mr. Roberts killed himself. The police said that he did not know either victim and that there was no known motive.

On his Facebook page, Mr. Roberts, who worked in a sandwich shop, describes himself as an “alcoholic” and “adrenaline junkie.” He includes multiple photos, including one of a man at target practice. He says that he is a “pretty funny person that takes sarcasm to the max. I'm the kind of person that is going to do what I want. There is no reason for another person to tell you what to do, I'm the conductor of my choo choo train…”

On Facebook, some of his high school friends and a former baseball coach expressed shock tha t he was identified as the gunman. “I am very saddened for all involved and especially the victims,” said Kelly Shafer, a former baseball coach of Mr. Roberts from Oregon City. “I just wanted everyone to know he was not all bad.”

Danie Hayes wrote on Facebook that she attended the junior prom with Mr. Roberts. “What he did was horrifying,” she said. “But everyone needs to know that he was never a mean person. I don't know what was going through his mind when he did this.”

Another childhood friend, Brooke Alexis Baker posted on Facebook that she never thought Mr. Roberts “could be capable of doing something like this. I have no words for why this happened. I'm sorry for the people he killed and injured and my heart goes out to everyone who is suffering.”

Inside the shopping mall in Happy Valley, people took out their cellphones and captured video and posted updates in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

A video of shoppers evacuating Clackamas Town Center uploaded to YouTube by KOIN Local 6 television in Portland, Ore.

Daniel Martinez's Twitter stream notes what he bought his mother for Christmas while shopping at the mall when his posts took a horrifying turn.

On Twitter, shoppers described running for their lives and how store employees ushered some shoppers to safety in a back room.

In a video interview, KGW News talked to the mall's Santa Claus.

John Canzano, a sports columnist for The Oregonian who happened to be at the mall when the shooting occurred, shared live updates from inside the Town Center.

On Wednesday, the family of a 15-year-old girl who was injured and in serious condition set up a Facebook page for the shooting victims.