Mother of mall shooter devastated, doesn't know son's motivation
CLACKAMAS, Ore. - The mother of the man who police say went on a deadly shooting rampage in the Clackamas Town Center is devastated, confused, angry and doesn't know what to think about her son's actions.
Tami Roberts lives less than a mile from the mall. On Thursday she apologized to all the families of the victims and to everyone inside the mall during Tuesday's shooting that left three dead, including her son and shooter, Jacob Tyler Roberts. The shooting also left a girl seriously injured. She is recovering in a local hospital.
Roberts said she has no idea why her son did what he did.
While she wasn't Jacob's biological mother, Roberts raised him like he was.
"They came here at midnight and told me my baby was dead and that he had done some really horrible things," she said. "Something went twang, Jake's not like that. He never ever in his life gave any indication at all that this is what he wanted to do."
Roberts said her son started to lose direction in his life when he wasn't able to join the Marines out of high school because of a broken foot.
Roberts became Jacob's guardian when his mother died from cancer before his third birthday. But the two had a falling out when he turned 18, and had not spoken in four years, though she declined to say why.
She said she didn't know about his plans to move to Hawaii and didn't know where he got the gun. She also said she has no idea about what motivated his actions.
"Jake's always been a good boy," she said. "He was so loving and caring."
To show the boy she knew, she showed off an art project her son made in the second grade and spoke about the trip they took together for her 40th birthday.
It's the business card left behind by detectives that reminds her what her son did is real.
"I feel like if I didn't have this card right here - if I didn't have this card, I would swear this is the meanest joke that anybody could ever play on me. But this (the card) makes it real," she said.
Roberts doesn't know if Jacob left a note.
She learned about the shooting much like everyone else.
"I was at Walgreens thinking, 'Oh great, some jerk is at Clackamas Town Center ruining everybody's day.' I had no idea my son was the stupid little jerk," she said. "I can't spank him, I can't ground him, I can't send him to his room, I can't keep his friends away from him, I can't take the Nintendo away, there's nothing I can do to make my kid not do what he did."
Roberts said that as part of her grieving process, she wants to raise money for suicide prevention groups. There will be a fund set up starting Friday at U.S. Bank branches called the "Jacob Roberts Memorial Fund."
Meanwhile, employees were allowed back inside Clackamas Town Center for the first time Thursday since the shooting. The mall is set to reopen to the public at 9 a.m. Friday. Also Friday, according to TriMet, regular service around the mall will resume.
There will be a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. Friday at the mall entrance near Starbucks.
Also, shoppers can begin to claim the items they left behind Friday and Saturday during mall hours. Shoppers can find their items next to the management office on the lower level down the hallway between AT&T and The Buckle. On Sunday, Dec. 16, items can be retrieved from the security office on the upper level food court.
Killed in the shooting were 45-year-old Steve Mathew Forsyth and 54-year-old Cindy Ann Yuille. Kristina Shevchenko, 15, is recovering at Oregon Health & Science University after being shot in the chest.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.