Preliminary reports are sketchy, but it seems Santa was ambushed early this morning outside Portland as he was finishing up his yearly trip!

One of his Elves finished the route for him, and Santa was taken to hospital after being shot 12-15 times with an AK-47 assault rifle!

(These wounds would have been fatal to a mere mortal, but just the same a hospital spokesman said Santa would be there for about a week after his surgery.)

Mrs. Claus, meanwhile, flew to his bedside, and so far no other details of the shooting are available, including a motive for the assault.

More details as they become available!