Three People Dead, One Injured In Mall Shooting

Another senseless act of violence leaves us wondering why.

A masked gunman opened fire inside the Clackamas Town Center, a mall in Portland, OR, yesterday afternoon, killing two and critically wounding another, NBC reports. Lt. James Rhodes, of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said,

The gunman, described as an adult male, took his own life after spraying bullets around the mall. The shooting happened around 3:20 p.m. local time (6:20 p.m. ET) in the food court near Macy’s, triggering panic among an estimated 10,000 shoppers.

One  young woman, 15-year-old Kristina Shevchenko, was rushed to the hospital in “critical” condition. However, her family reports her condition has been upgraded to “stable” after surgery.

The identity of the gunman has not been released but the Police believe he acted alone.

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This is one more random act of violence that can be added to a list that has grown unacceptably long in the past several years. Some will blame this on the relative ease with which guns, and specifically automatic weapons can be obtained in the US. Others will point fingers at a failed judicial system, or the lack of funding for mental health care for those not fortunate enough to have private health insurance. Still others will look at this most recent shooting as an example of what is wrong with the culture of violence in America.

No matter how you chose to view this event in the broader scope of societal issues, no matter what kind of debate will result, the fact remains that for the friends and families of those lost and injured yesterday, including the shooter, this is a personal tragedy that will alter their lives forever. The discussion events like this precipitate are necessary and important, but not more so than remembering that these were real people with real families who deserve our sympathy and respect.

Picture: markyeg/Flickr

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About Kathryn DeHoyos

Kathryn DeHoyos currently resides on the outskirts of Austin, TX. She has 2 beautiful children, and is very happily un-married to her life partner DJ.

Comments

  1. Richard Aubrey says:

    Please specify how the access to automatic weapons has become easier.

    Please tell us what the weapon used in the mall was, particularly if it was an automatic weapon.

  2. Relative ease of getting automatic weapons? Something tells me you have never tried to apply for an FFL or Class 3 license.

  3. Kathryn DeHoyos says:

    OK, let me clarify two points. First, there have been several reports that the shooter was carrying either a semi-automatic or fully-automatic weapon and wearing body armor but the authorities have not confirmed this yet. Second, I am not saying that I personally believe that it is “easy” to get an automatic weapon I am simply stating that this tragedy will give those who DO argue that that is the case will use it as another example as to why we need more stringent gun control. I come from a family of gun owners and am personally aware of what it takes to get licensed in at least 5 different states in the US.

  4. Richard Aubrey says:

    This case will give strength to the argument that labeling a public area a “gun-free zone” is murderously irresponsible.
    IOW, it can go both ways.
    The Trolley Square Mall shooting was stopped by an off-duty cop who had his weapon with him which was not allowed by Mall policy, not even for cops.

  5. It doesn’t matter what licensing laws you have- since there’s so many weapons in circulation, illegal ones are easy to get. Here in Australia if you’re a licensed firearm owner your weapon must be stored in a gun safe, ammo stored in a separate locked location- to ensure a thief can’t grab it and use it, regardless of your/their legal license status.

  6. Jim Boothe says:

    I live in Portland. I’ve been to that mall enough to know the layout better than I probably should. I have a healthy respect for guns, because I was taught from an early age that the sole purpose of a gun is to kill, and you never point a gun at a target unless you intend to destroy that target. Like a lot of people, I have questions such as, “Why was he wearing body armor when he planned to punch his own ticket after punching the tickets of a few other people?”…but that question is based on possibly erroneous information; I’m not sure I could pick out actual body armor from something mocked up in a costume store.

    I don’t know what the One True Answer is regarding gun control, but I do believe, perhaps irrationally, that personal safety starts with getting it stamped in the brain, “To other people, YOU are ‘other people’”. Living in a constant state of Emergency Preparedness impressive to Doc Savage is beyond my ability. Living with the fact that I was not born with a “Get Out of Drama, Free” card (let alone how it’s not MY fault Reality keeps such poor records of these things), is not.

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