On Tuesday, a masked gunman opened fire in a suburban Portland, Oregon mall that police say was full of nearly ten-thousand people. According to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, three people were killed, including the shooter who died of a self-inflicted gunshot. One young woman suffered a traumatic injury. This morning Austin Patty, a employee at the Macy’s inside the Clackamas Town center joins “Starting Point” to talk about his experience inside the store at the time of the shooting.
Patty says he was alerted that a shooter was in the mall by a man from the Salvation Army that he had met earlier in the week. Patty describes the shooter who was in his store as a “tall slender guy about average height” who was wearing “a Jason hockey mask.” He adds that the shooter had on a bulletproof vest and what appeared to be a large assault rifle, “you would see on a video game.”
Patty says as he watched the gunman time slowed down and then he heard the shooter proclaim, “I am the shooter” and then fire “five or six shots.”
After fleeing outside the store, Patty says he started warning people about the shooter and to leave the mall.
On the gunman’s possible motive Patty says, “I honestly think it was just a open fire massacre, just like a mall massacre…I don’t know what he was going through or what happened. I know he came in on a mission though. He ran in fast.”
Patty says after the shooting he sat with his family at home and thought about it being “two weeks before Christmas” and “someone coming to do this at one of our biggest malls. He adds, “It’s unbelievable. It’s just crazy”