Family, friends talk about victims of mall shooting
CLACKAMAS, Ore. - A local business owner and a hospice care nurse were identified Wednesday as the two people who were killed in a shooting rampage at the Clackamas Town Center the day before.
A gunman stormed the mall and opened fire Tuesday afternoon. Two people were shot to death and one was seriously wounded before the gunman turned the weapon on himself.
Steve Mathew Forsyth, 45, was one of those who was killed. He was a father of two and the owner of a local marketing business. He lived in West Linn.
Forsyth founded and operated Big Feat Marketing and had a long history of working in the marketing business in the Portland area, according to a bio post on his website.
In a statement, the family said "Steven Mathew Forsyth was a loving husband, father of two children, a son, a brother, an uncle, a longtime youth sports coach and a friend to the many people who had the privilege to meet him. Steve was one of the most passionate people with a true entrepreneurial spirit. He had a great sense of humor and zest for life. He had a vision and a belief in others that brought great joy and value to many lives. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him."
Damien Smith has known Forsyth since childhood and said he always looked up to him.
"He wasn't just a father but he was a role model," Smith said. "And he was a hero to a lot of people. He was the kind of guy who if you went to his house, he never said anything bad about anybody."
"He always had a joke, a smile on his face," Smith added. "He was full of energy."
Forsyth was also a well-known figure among those in local radio. He had previously worked as a director of sales for Entercom.
Most recently, though, his family said his entrepreneurial spirit drove him to start his own business selling wood-carved coasters. He had recently opened his own kiosk at the Clackamas Town Center to sell the coasters and was working there on Tuesday when the shots rang out.
Forsyth was also a youth sports coach and a beloved member of the West Linn community.
"It's still pretty shocking," said Dennis Glasgow, who worked with Forsyth at Entercom. "He was a very popular guy, very gregarious. He was a smart business guy and a good radio man."
Cindy Ann Yuille, 54, was the hospice nurse killed in the attack. She worked for Kaiser Permanente and lived in Northeast Portland.
In a statement, Yuille's family said "Cindy was everybody's friend. She was a wonderful person who was very caring and put others first."
Sean Meehan was Yuille's friend and co-worker at Kaiser Permanente. He said she was lively and had a strong personality.
"Whenever we would go out dining after work, she was always cracking jokes and making everybody laugh," Meehan said. "Which, if you're a hospice nurse, it's really important to do because it's such a draining job. And she did it all the time."
Yuille leaves behind her husband, Robert, a daughter in her 20s and a 10-year-old stepson.
"I certainly believe it was her time for some reason that we'll never understand," Meehan said. "But why it was done in such a public way and powerful way, I don't know."
"Maybe there's something to be gained by the fact that it was hopefully quick and she didn't have to endure the things we see many of our patients endure," Meehan added.
Kristina Shevchenko, 15, was badly wounded in the shooting. She is recovering at Oregon Health & Science University and is in serious condition.
Shevchenko was shot in the chest, badly injuring a lung and her liver. Surgeons operated on her Tuesday night and said the surgery was successful. She remains in serious condition in the intensive care unit.
"We are deeply grateful for the quick response of the emergency service providers, public safety and police officers as well as Clackamas Town Center staff," Shevchenko's family said in a statement. "We would also like to thank everyone at OHSU Hospital. We very much appreciate the incredible support we've received from friends, family members and the Portland community."
"She informed us today that the first person to be thanked is Alyona, her friend and schoolmate at Clackamas Middle School, who immediately called 911 and remained by her side until the emergency service providers arrived," the family said.
"I was very impressed with the support her family offered," said trauma surgeon Dr. Laszlo Kiraly with Oregon Health & Science University. He noted that family members have been by the girl's side the entire time. "It's clear to me that she's a very brave young woman."
Kiraly did her surgery, taking out shrapnel and checking for damage. He found her liver and a lung was bruised.
Shevchenko is a student at Clackamas Middle College, which is a high school right across the street from Clackamas Town Center.
This week was her finals week at school.
Members of Shevchenko's family have created a Facebook page to provide updates and collect donations.