Family of second mall shooting victim supports gun control bills

Family of second mall shooting victim supports gun control bills »Play Video
Cindy Yuille in a family photo.

PORTLAND, Ore. – The family of the woman shot and killed at the Clackamas Town Center last year is headed to Salem to testify in support of new gun laws in Oregon.

Cindy Yuille was one of two people killed in the shooting. Her husband and daughter say it’s still very hard to talk about Cindy’s death, but they want to channel their pain into something positive.

“One of the hardest things about her death is that she was killed. She was murdered. She should still be here right now,” said Yuille’s daughter, Jenna Passalacqua.

On Friday, Passalacqua and Cindy’s husband, Robert Yuille, will testify in support of four measures set to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senate Bill 347 would ban guns in primary and secondary schools. Senate Bill 699 would prohibit openly carrying a weapon in public buildings, including the state Capitol. Senate Bill 700 requires background checks on gun sales and transfers, except between family members, and Senate Bill 796 requires a shooting test to obtain a concealed-handgun license.

Monday, KATU spoke with the brother-in-law of victim Steve Forsyth, who said they also want to see changes to gun laws in Oregon and nationwide.

Yuille and Passalacqua don’t believe the measures would have saved Cindy’s life, but they believe it’s a start for a bigger chance.

“What I always think is 'what would Cindy want us to do?' What would Cindy do?” said Robert Yuille. “And that certainly would be to speak up and not let this incident be in vain.”

“I’m not going to sit back and look back years from now and wish I had done something while I could,” said Passalacqua.

The man who shot and killed Yuille, Forsyth and seriously wounded 15-year-old Kristina Shevchenko before shooting and killing himself would have passed a background check. He also stole the gun he used that day.

Cindy Yuille’s family said they wanted to be clear that their fight for change isn’t about being “anti-gun.” They just want to make it harder for people like the shooter to get their hands on guns.

“If that gun had been locked up I think (Cindy) still might be here right now,” Passalacqua said.

Gun rights supporters say the bills would only punish gun owners who obey the law and make it tougher for them to protect themselves and the people around them.