Questions swarm, about Lents gunman who killed at Clackamas Town Center

Hours after it happened, authorities said Jacob Tyler Roberts slew two and injured one person before taking his own life.  Here’s what’s been learned so far …

This modest home in the Lents Neighborhood was the reported residence of the man who, officials say, sprayed Clackamas Town Center with gunfire, 15 days before Christmas.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Lents Neighborhood resident Bobbi Bates never expected to face a band of news reporters looking for someone to interview. They wanted to talk about the accused Clackamas Town Center gunman, 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts, who opened deadly fire at the mall the afternoon of December 11.

Bates, who lives across the street from Roberts’ apparent address, at 7324 SE 84th Avenue, watched, as police and deputies swooped in on the modest one-story bungalow across the otherwise-quiet street.

She did have something to share: “I saw him leave Tuesday afternoon,” Bates told reporters. “He was carrying a guitar case, and seemed to be in a big hurry.”

This photo of 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts was found on what was apparently his Facebook page.

Then, at about 3:20 p.m. on December 11, Roberts wheeled his green Volkswagen Jetta into the mall’s parking lot.

Minutes later, employees reported seeing a man, dressed black, wearing a hockey-style face mask, running through the Clackamas Town Center Macy’s store and into the food court, call out “I am the shooter”, and open fire with what reportedly was a stolen AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

Shopper Cindy Ann Yuille and merchant Steven Forsyth were both killed by single gunshots, coroners say. Photos provided by families

Northeast Portland’s 54-year-old Cindy Ann Yuille and 45-year-old Steven Mathew Forsyth of West Linn were shot and killed as Roberts reportedly sprayed perhaps as many as 60 bullets around the Food Court area.

College-prep student Kristina Shevchenko was seriously wounded, and is slowing recovering at OHSU Hospital, her family says. Photo provided by family

15-year-old Kristina Shevchenko had just finished classes for the day at Clackamas Middle College – a school located in a former Magnolia Hi-Fi building on S.E. 82nd Avenue nearby – which is “designed to give students the opportunity to earn both high school and college credits simultaneously with the goal of earning a high school diploma”, according to its website.

Shortly after she entered the mall, she was shot and seriously wounded. (To contribute to her medical care online, CLICK HERE to visit the “WePay” donations page.)

Raised by aunt
After the death of his mother when he was young, the deadly assailant, Jacob Roberts, he was raised by his aunt, Tami Roberts, “as her son”, many reports say.

According to a Facebook page attributed to Jacob Roberts, he attended Milwaukie High School and Oregon City Senior High School, graduating in 2008. He took “general studies” courses during the following year at Clackamas Community College, then dropped out of school.

At his most recent job, Roberts was said to have worked at Big Bertha’s on SE Hawthorne Boulevard, known for serving up “Portland’s best gyros” – but recently quit the job, about which he wrote on his Facebook page, “I love my job and actually mean it”.

This is one of the photos on what is apparently Jacob Roberts’ Facebook page.

Online, and through the media, those who knew Roberts said his only brushes with the law had been a few traffic tickets and a suspended driver’s license. Several added that he was “heartbroken” after a failed personal relationship.

Others who claimed to know Roberts said he was selling off his possessions, and saying he was moving to Hawaii – but missed his flight days before the shooting rampage took place.

This handwritten note expresses Tami Roberts’ feelings about the tragic Clackamas Town Center shooting rampage. KGW News 8 image

A friend passed a note from Tami Roberts aunt to KGW-TV reporters – and since reproduced by many media outlets – in which she expressed “her shock and grief” about the actions allegedly taken by the nephew she had raised.

“She has no understanding or explanation for her son’s behavior, and requests that her privacy be respected,” the note said. “She is very sad and wants everyone to know that she is so sorry what Jake did, it’s so out of his character.”

Hours later, Tami Roberts granted a television interview, in which she said she’d not spoken with Jacob “for about four years”.

This illustration, apparently put on his Facebook page by Roberts, is prophetically appropriate.

Atop Roberts’ Facebook page, there was a photo of the words “Follow Your Dreams” spray painted on a wall – over which, in “ink-pad stamp’ lettering, was the word “cancelled”.

For whatever its reason – the posting proved prophetic.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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