Oregon mall shooter's 'jammed' assault rifle averted 'much worse' tragedy, says sheriff
A masked gunman, who killed two and injured one in a Portland, Oregon mall before killing himself, might have taken many more lives, had his military-style assault rifle not jammed in the midst of his shooting spree, authorities said.
Jacob Tyler Roberts, 22, was armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, which he stole from an acquaintance, Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said at a press conference.
The sheriff said the gun jammed as Roberts shot into the Clackamas Town Center's food court, allowing potential victims to escape.
Police estimated 10,000 shoppers were in the mall at the time of the shooting, the Huffington Post reports.
The sheriff said that Roberts wore a hockey mask and a military-style vest holding multiple ammunition clips.
"I think we all need to be very thankful that this incident wasn't much worse," he said.
"Based on the evidence we obtained, it appeared that the suspect's rifle did jam while he was attacking individuals in the food court," he added.
He said that Roberts was able to get the gun working again and fatally shot himself after fleeing to another area of the mall, the report added.