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How You Can Stay Safe In Mall Shooting Panic

How You Can Stay Safe In Mall Shooting Panic

Airdate: 12/12/2012

INSIDE EDITION is now learning the identity of the madman who opened fire at a mall packed with terrified Christmas shoppers and children who ran for their lives.

Police say 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts stole the rifle used in the shootings from someone he knew. He lived in a house which was a six minute drive from the mall.

Police said in a press conference, "A lot of folks reported he was running, moving quickly, left his car."

The gunman wore a white hockey mask like the Jason character in Friday the 13th as he stormed Clackamas Town Center Mall in Portland, Oregon.  

“There's one person that's saying there's a man with a rifle near the food court and that he's still shooting people,” said a police man on the radio.

The mall is busy and bustling on a normal day. There is a food court where the gunman began spraying bullets at shoppers. He shot two people dead and critically wounded  a 15-year-old girl before killing himself as police closed in.

The mall at Christmas time is the last place you would be on alert for danger. INSIDE EDITION has ways to protect yourself from a tragedy like this.

Security expert Pat Brosnan showed me what to do if the unexpected happens. He says despite your first instinct, don't run. Instead, he says, find cover and hide.

“The best thing to do is to try and be as invisible as you can be. Two things have got to happen, you want to be quiet and you want to take cover. Never run. It brings attention to yourself and the guy could fire at you,” he said.

Brosnan then showed Alexander what to do. Behind a garbage receptacle, he told Alexander, "Get behind it, crouch down low."

He then said, "Two things happen, he doesn't see you, so he can't shoot at you. Second, you are minimizing the chance of a random bullet ricocheting and hitting you."

During the Oregon mall shootings, shoppers ran inside stores when the gunfire began.

One shopper tweeted a photo of people hiding in the back room of a store as Christmas carols continued to play throughout the mall.

The mall's Santa was listening to what children want for Christmas when the shots rang out.

"When I heard about 18 more shots, I decided it was a semi-automatic, and I hit the floor," said the mall Santa.

And it's happened before.  

In 2007, a home video showed police in a gun battle that killed an 18-year-old in a trench coat who shot five people dead at a mall in Salt Lake City.

A mall is supposed to be a place that celebrates the holidays. But in an instant, a crazed gunman turned a mall in Portland into a living hell.

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