The typical mass murderer is a socially isolated white man in his 30s or 40s. He has no criminal record, but his life has been marked by failure and frustration, and he decides that his family, boss or co-workers must pay with their lives, Fox said.
"The rarest form of mass murder is the completely random shooting," Fox said. "Those perpetrators tend to be younger (in their 20s). They are more likely to have profound mental health issues, as opposed to the older guy who is quite sane, knows exactly what he is doing, and just decides that life is miserable."
The random shooter, Fox said, feels "the whole world is unfair, someone has to pay, and it doesn't matter who."
Amid Tuesday's gunfire, employees helped shoppers get into backrooms.
"Basically, in a situation like this it's either stay right where you're at and lock yourself down, or get to the nearest exit," said Dennis Curtis, the mall's senior general manager.
"We've done drills with the sheriff's office," including one earlier this year, he said.
The first 911 call came at 3:29 p.m. Tuesday, and officers arrived a minute later. Instead of waiting for SWAT teams, police immediately entered the crowded mall.
Police told people inside to put their hands in the air, to make sure an armed person was not among them. Police spent hours clearing the 1.4-million-square-foot mall, as some workers and shoppers continued to hide in fear.
Roberts fled along a mall corridor and into a back hallway, down stairs and into a corner where police found him dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot, authorities said.
Families of the victims released brief statements through the sheriff's office.
Relatives of Yuille described her as "everybody's friend" and a caring person. Forsyth was a loving husband, business owner and a youth sports coach, his family said.
As for Shevchenko, it was her second brush with death this year. In August, a man veered his car into the opposite lane and crashed head-on into a van she was in.
Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Jonathan J. Cooper, Nigel Duara, Anne M. Peterson, Tim Fought and Sarah Skidmore in Portland, Jeff Barnard in Grants Pass, Ore., Michelle Price in Phoenix, Pete Yost in Washington and Manuel Valdes in Seattle, and researcher Rhonda Shafner.
- Texas seizes FLDS Church's secluded ranch
- Dirty creek, old purse solve four-decade...
- Appeals judges question right to sue in...
- How does the world feel about morals and...
- Police: Student ate more pot than recommended...
- Sentenced but never jailed, robber who went...
- Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet
- Utah, Oklahoma same-sex marriage cases on...
- Obama: Religious intolerance has... 77
- Utah, Oklahoma same-sex marriage cases... 45
- The dangers of financially illiterate... 30
- Obama: 8 million signed up for health care 23
- Bureau of Land Management to pursue... 22
- Report projects health law's subsidies... 21
- Appeals judges question right to sue in... 18
- Sentenced but never jailed, robber who... 16