I just don't get it. At all. I was working on client jobs when I saw a friend in the area make a post about shots in the Macy's at the mall, so I went on to the police scanner (yeah, ok... I'm a nerd. However, I have friends who 'protect and serve' for a living and they say when BIG things are happening, if you have the internet, find the open police scanner and start listening - it's more reliable than the news and faster, too).
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Officers from all surrounding area's, setting up triage posts and witness stations and stuff. Clearing out the mall store by store - and then probably 30 minutes before the news announced it I heard a male officer saying, "Suspect down in the back hall of Macy's... repeat, suspect in all black is down." I think at that point they didn't know if there was just one shooter or more. (Other people report he was wearing camouflage, but on the scanner they said "all black".)
This being the modern age, people were pouring out of the mall and calling into the TV stations like mad giving their first hand accounts of what had happened and what they saw.
It seems (according to various eye witness accounts) a man dressed in all black entered the Clackamas Town Center through Macy's. He walked/ran through Macy's wearing a white hockey mask (like in Friday the 13th) carrying a "large" gun. Macy's opens up in the second floor to the food court area where the gunman then opened fire.
A teenage girl who called into KOIN said that he wasn't "pointing the gun in the air" but actually at people, but at random. He was just shooting people - but not one particular person. That poor girl......
A man was in a shop two doors down from the gunman went to the door and saw a couple face down, he first went to them and the man was laying over his wife protecting her. They were fine. (PS, *that's* a good husband... just sayin'.)
There was another woman a few feet away, lying face down and not fine. Amidst the bullets flying this man ran to her side and tried to turn her over to start CPR, then a female nurse joined him. They tried to help her in spite of the gunman still shooting in their general area. People were screaming for them to "get down" but they kept trying to help the woman who had been shot anyway. I'm pretty sure that's the very definition of hero.
What an amazing man. Later, he tried to return to the store for his two teenage daughters, but the shop workers had locked the doors and taken everyone back to their storage area and locked that door, too.
That seemed to be a theme, people who didn't run out, ran back and all these mall employee's were locking people into their storage area's. It took hours and hours to clear the mall because the police were finding crowds of people stuffed into back rooms, locked in and huddled together.
Witness after witness talked about watching people running for the doors, but stopping to help women and children and handicapped people get to the doors *with* them. How amazing is that?
Right there, *that's* the spirit of Portland. We're this crazy town with Naked Bike Rides and Gay Pride and Bacon Donuts and crazy ladies who make funny signs: and we're a town that stops to help each other.
Sure, we don't always do it. We're not infallible. We're not perfect. But, I was not at all surprised to hear eye witness account after eye witness account talking about the bravery of strangers. Not at all.
For all the horrible things that happened today, for the lives lost in a senseless and cruel manner, there is a small amount of pride that we should have in our community that most people weren't running for their own lives without stopping to help others along the way.
Mind you, it would be nice if these amazing moments of humanity could come to light under different, less horrific and catastrophic circumstances.
I don't know *why* the shooter did what he did. Frankly I don't give a f*ck. AT ALL. I don't want to hear about whatever sick agenda he had. I don't want to pay any credence to it, I don't want to give it life and validate it by talking about it.
If he was mentally disturbed and he and his family didn't receive the treatment he so desperately needed - then it's certainly a sign that we should re-address whatever those needs might be within our community.
However..... irregardless of the reasons anyone has for doing such a thing, I hope that the news will focus on what EVERYONE ELSE DID in the face of bullets and death and mayhem. I hope they will focus on the care people took to shield small children and help move people out of the way.
I'm certain the acts of *many* have helped eliminate more needless deaths because according to reports at least 20 - 60 shots rang out in the food court/Macy's area of the mall and only 3 people are dead (unconfirmed but the death doll includes the gunman) and one critically injured teenager is said to be "critical condition" at the hospital. Still, they estimate over 10,000 were at the mall today, I think everyone is surprised more people weren't injured.
I'm 100% sure that actions of the people had to be part of the reason the death toll isn't much higher - their actions of courage and kindness and humanity outweighed the devious actions of one. That's a powerful thing to think about.
I'll stop there. I'm sad to say that family friends actually know one of the victims. They are shocked and trying, like everyone else, to come to terms with such a horrific act that cost and innocent person their life. My thoughts and prayers are with my friends and their friends family. I cannot imagine what they are going through.
I was supposed to do some local interviews tomorrow but I called and canceled them all. It's just not the time. Not the time to talk about a book when there is so much other good to talk about right now. Good that can outweigh the bad that happened today.
So that's all from Portland... I'm not a reporter, I'm not an officer, the above is in NO WAY an official reporting of events, just a piecing together of hours of coverage and listening to the feeds and watching the news.
There's not much left to say....
I know a few of you posted this morning that you were buying the KINDLE version of the book, first of all - thank you! :) Second... when my foggy heart clears, I'll be setting up a separate area for questions and stuff - someone already asked me if I would do that - and I will. :)
Ok. I'm off to bed - grateful to live in Portland and proud of the actions of so many. I'm going to focus on those people, and the victims - not on the deeds of one. His actions aren't worth my time.