Mall gunman's rampage unfolded in two minutes - WNEM TV 5

Mall shooter had drugs in system, no known motive

Posted: Updated:
Photo: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Photo: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Photo: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Photo: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office

A full-scale investigation into December's shooting at the Clackamas Town Center Mall showed Jacob Roberts fired a total of 17 shots inside the mall, one of which killed a Portland mom and another that killed a West Linn father who was moving behind a mall kiosk.

Roberts, 20, wore a mask and carried a rifle as he entered the mall on Dec. 11 at 3:28 p.m., when there were an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 shoppers at the mall.

In a span of less than two minutes, from 3:29 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Roberts shot Cindy Yuille, a hospice care nurse from Portland; Kristina Shevchenko, a teenager from the Portland area; and then Steve Forsyth, a business owner from West Linn who had a kiosk at the mall.

Yuille, hit by the very first gunshot, and Forsyth, struck by a single shot, died of their injuries. Shevchenko survived, and doctors removed bullet fragments from her collapsed lung and bruised liver.

Deputies said Roberts fired 13 other rounds inside the mall that did not hit anyone.

He shot himself in the head and died while in a service hallway near JC Penney. He was found dead by deputies 21 minutes after the first 911 calls.

At around 7 p.m. that night, Roberts' roommates called a sheriff's tip line after hearing of the shooting. They told detectives they found empty ammo boxes in Roberts' room earlier in the day.

A toxicology report showed Roberts had marijuana and a low level of residual cocaine in his body. According to the report, he smoked a small amount of marijuana at a friend's house just minutes before driving the two miles to Clackamas Town Center.

When Roberts first ran into the mall, he was armed with Stag Arms AR-15, a semiautomatic rifle, and had 145 rounds in five magazines, deputies said. The rifle was stolen from a friend, and the ammunition was purchased from sporting goods stores and a local big-box retailer.

He wore foam earplugs, a mask, gloves and a load-bearing vest with pockets for rifle magazines.

Roberts had no criminal history, no history of violence, no known ties to the mall and no history of diagnosed mental illness, according to the sheriff's office. As a result, investigators said they were unable to determine a motive for the crime.

The victim's family members say they were hoping the investigation would uncover a motive, and say they are disappointed after all this time, deputies still don't know what caused Roberts to snap. 

"Alex doesn't have a dad anymore, Katie is without a stepfather," said Steve Forsyth's brother-in-law Paul Kemp.

"Alex was 13 when his dad was shot, and Alex and Steve share same birthday, that day will never mean the same to Alex anymore, it will be difficult," said Kemp.

"This guy had no criminal record, no mental issues, and wasn't being treated for anything. He didn't leave suicide note, there was no horrible break up with girlfriend, he was a seemingly normal 20 year-old guy," said Kemp. 

Members of Steve Forsyth's family say they are now pushing for change in gun control laws so that no family will ever have to feel the pain that they do now.

"We've all written lots of letters and contacted national groups, we need to bring some sanity to gun laws.  There are too many options for people to buy weapons without going through a background check," said Kemp. 

The sheriff's office has posted its findings in a summarized report found here. Detectives also released 926 pages worth of documents from their investigation.

Before the shooting

Investigators said Roberts and his girlfriend voluntarily broke up Dec. 1, 10 days before the shooting, after he told her he was moving to Hawaii. She couldn't afford to go with him.

On Dec. 5, Roberts quit his job and told his boss he was moving to Hawaii. He stopped by his job a couple days later to say goodbye to co-workers, then met a friend at a bar to tell her he was leaving for Hawaii on Dec. 8.

But instead of leaving for Hawaii that day, deputies said, Roberts went to a local gun shop and bought two 30-round AR-15 magazines. He then purchased two 20-count boxes of .223 ammo, ear plugs and paper targets at a big-box retailer.

On Dec. 9, he purchased more ammunition and paper targets, and listed his car for sale on Craigslist.

His roommates returned from a weekend trip that day and were surprised to find Roberts still there. He told them he partied and overslept, missing his flight to Hawaii. He told them he changed his flight date to the following weekend.

The day of the shooting

Roberts met a friend at 12:15 a.m. on Dec. 11 at Putter's Bar and Grill. They later went to 7-Eleven to buy beer, and went back to the friend's home to drink, play pool and smoke marijuana, deputies said. The friend showed Roberts his AR-15 rifle, and they later went to a Denny's restaurant across the street from the mall around 3 a.m.

Roberts told the friend he decided not to go to Hawaii, and that he doesn't want others to know. He told the friend he still planned to leave town.

Around 5 a.m., Roberts went to sleep on his friend's couch, and, sometime between then and noon, he stole his friend's rifle, according to the sheriff's report.

Around noon, he stopped by his home, spoke briefly with his roommates and left with a pair of boots and a plastic bag of clothes.

Roberts made a brief stop at another friend's home - two miles away from the mall - around 3 p.m. They smoked marijuana and talked about Roberts leaving for Hawaii.

Then, deputies said, Roberts drove to the mall, parked outside Macy's and left the windshield wipers running.

Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, WNEM; Saginaw, MI. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.