By Donna Leinwand Leger and Natalie DiBlasio, USA TODAY
The man who randomly shot at people in an Oregon mall didn't know Steven Forsyth or Cindy Yuille, the two people he killed, the Clackamas Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.
But in the Portland area where Forsyth, 45, coached youth sports and ran a business, and Yuille, 54, raised money for cancer research, the families say they touched many lives.
The shooter, Jacob Tyler Roberts, didn't know the only survivor of Tuesday's carnage, Kristina Shevchenko, either. So he didn't know that this would be the 15-year-old's second brush with death in four months.
But details are now emerging about the victims of Roberts' random violence.
Yuille, a hospice nurse and avid runner, "was everybody's friend," her family said in a statement. "She was a wonderful person who was very caring and put others first."
Forsyth, a married father of two, turned a beloved grandfather's wood-carving hobby into a custom wood design business, Coastoms, that sold unique wood coasters,trivets and wall art. He also spent many years in marketing and owned a marketing company called Big Feat, state records show.
Forsyth worked for 14 years in marketing and advertising sales at Entercom, a communications company that owns 110 radio stations in 23 markets, including seven in Portland. His wife, Carla, still works there as an account executive.
"We are heartbroken," Entercom President and CEO David Field said in a statement Wednesday. "This senseless, tragic murder struck down a truly wonderful human being in the prime of his life."
Field called Forsyth "a highly talented man."
Forsyth, professionally certified by the American Marketing Association, worked for years in media sales and as a management executive for radio stations and spent three years as the vice president of business operations for a clinical testing laboratory, the biography on his website says. He also wrote columns in a national business journal.
"Steve was one of the most passionate people with a true entrepreneurial spirit that drove him to start his business, Coastoms," his family said in a statement provided by the Clackamas Sheriff's Office.
The family said Forsyth, 45, of West Linn, had a great sense of humor and a "zest for life."
"He had a vision and a belief in others that brought great joy and value to many lives," the family said. "He will be sorely missed by all who knew him."
Kristina Shevchenko, a high school freshman, was hospitalized and is in serious condition with a gunshot wound to the chest.
The 15-year-old was coming home from Clackamas Middle College. She left the campus and cut through the mall, her family said told The Oregonian.
She was hit in the chest by a bullet but managed to walk out of the mall and into the parking lot, the sheriff said. She rode by ambulance 10 miles to OHSU Hospital, the sheriff said.
The hospital, expecting a mass casualty situation, went on full alert once authorities notified hospital officials of the mall shooting, trauma surgeon Laszlo Kiraly said in an interview.
When Kristina, 15, arrived she was awake and conscious, but confused, Kiraly said.
"She had obvious wounds from this assault rifle," he said. "These are life-threatening injuries."
Her right lung was bruised and had collapsed, he said. Exploratory surgery found damage to her liver from the force of the blast from the high velocity weapon, he said. Kiraly inserted a tube in Kristina's chest to re-expand her lung and drain the blood, and cleaned and closed the wounds.
While she is still at risk for infections and complications, Kiraly said he is optimistic about her recovery. She took her first steps late Wednesday afternoon, he said.
"We are very impressed with her courage," he said.
This is the second time the teen has come close to death.
In August, Kristina was riding in a van driven by her sister Emiliya, 27, with five other siblings and two friends when a Ford Ranger crossed the center line and hit them head on, according to The Colombian. The other driver, Alberto Perez Garcia, 25, was killed.
Her family has created a Facebook page to keep supporters updated about her condition after Tuesday's shooting.
Kristina's brother, Yevgeniy Shevchenko, posted on a Facebook page:
"None of the vital organs were hit and she is doing well after the first operation. She will have a couple more operations in the following week."
Joe Krumm, spokesman for the Clackamas County School District, told the Oregonianthat Kristina is a hard worker, very motivated, smart and has a great sense of humor.
"She's a good kid," Krumm said.