Employees revisit Clackamas Town Center as mall prepares to open - KPTV - FOX 12

Employees revisit Clackamas Town Center as mall prepares to reopen

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CLACKAMAS COUNTY, OR (KPTV) -

When Tiffany Mickelson walked back into Clackamas Town Center for the first time after Tuesday's shooting, she focused on breathing.

There was the spot she stood with a co-worker, near the Origins counter in Macy's, when someone ran past them. There they heard the first gunshots of Jacob Roberts' rampage, not initially comprehending the sound.

"A customer grabbed my shoulder, with tears running down her face," Mickelson, who works at the Clinique counter, recalled. "And she said, ‘Run sweetie. Run.'"

So Mickelson grabbed her co-worker and ran, not stopping until they made it to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.

She walked past her makeup counter Thursday, returning to retrieve the belongings she left behind as she fled.

"To even just walk back there to grab my wallet. I did it as fast as I could. Because I felt like everything was coming over me again," she said. "I think I will have a little anxiety going back to work the next couple days but I know that with everybody around, it will be OK."

Mickelson was one of the people who work at the mall who came to retrieve their belongings or clean their stores before the mall reopens to the public Friday morning.

"I will never step into the mall as the same person. It will always be in the back of my mind," said Robert Shaulskiy, who works Fabulicious Cupcake, a kiosk in the food court, where many of the gunshots were fired.

"Kids were getting trampled on," he said. "It was terrible to witness. At first we did start panicking and then we came back to our senses and at that point we had to do what we had to do."

Shaulskiy said a co-worker quit after the shooting, but he plans to continue working at the kiosk.

"We hope that everyone does come by tomorrow, you know, and say hello," he said.

Mickelson said she noticed the mall has been cleaned since Tuesday, which made it easier to walk through.

A security guard escorted her through the shopping center Thursday. She says she was told there will be extra security in the shopping center in the coming days.

She plans to sign up for counseling sessions.

She's not scheduled to work Friday, but plans to come to the mall to support her co-workers and finish holiday shopping.

Mickelson hopes the community will do the same, tomorrow and in the coming months.

"It's a great mall, it's a great community in the area. We shouldn't just let it control our future, because we can change that," she said. "That is something we have control over. We don't have control over what happened. But we can change what happens in the future."

Clackamas Town Center will open at 9 a.m. Friday.

A candlelight vigil is planned for 7 p.m., near the mall entrance by Starbucks.

Shoppers who left items behind can claim them Friday and Saturday during mall hours. The pick-up location is next to the management officer, between AT&T and The Buckle.

Beginning on Sunday, items can be picked up from the security office on the upper level.

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