CLACKAMAS, Ore -- As investigators pieced together the details of Tuesday’s shooting inside the Clackamas Town Center Mall, stories of bravery were emerging.
Mariah Saldana, who works at Macy’s, said the gunman ran by her wearing a white mask and carrying a rifle. “And then I look out because I hear a few shots. And he’s sitting there, and he’s pointing the gun at some people so we ran to the fitting room, grabbed some people, then ran out to the back exit to get out of there,” she said.
She wasn’t the only employee who sprang into action.
Allan Fonseca said he was working at the cosmetics counter when the shooting began. He said the customer he was helping was terrified.
"I just saw the guy (the gunman) running past us, then the shots had already gone off and I remember that the lady that was with me. She was really scared.” Fonseca said. “So I pulled her into my counter and as soon as the shots went off I told her that we couldn’t stay there. I told her that she needed to trust me and we went down there, and that’s when we evacuated.”
Workers described the scene inside as chaotic. Cyndi Lou Johnston, another Macy’s employee, said she was afraid people were going to run each other over as they ran for the doors. She tried to prevent that from happening.
“So I just went to the doors and held them open because people were trampling each trying to get out,” Johnston said. “I just kept going back in trying to get people out of there until I didn’t see any more customers in there.”
Other employees said their first instinct was to hunker down. Kelsey Barrow directed people to the safest place that she could think of: The dressing room.
“There were little kids in my department, there were families, moms. We all told everybody, ‘Get inside the fitting rooms,’” Barrow said. “We all just climbed in there and stood up on top of the benches that are inside or our fitting rooms and we just waited.”