A shooting at a mall north of Seattle on Friday night left five people dead and the police searching for the gunman, the Washington State Patrol said.
The gunman killed four women in the cosmetics department of a Macy’s store at the shopping center, the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Wash., said a spokesman for the patrol, Sgt. Mark Francis. Another victim, a man who was critically wounded, was brought to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, and Sergeant Francis said Saturday morning on Twitter that the man had died.
Sadly the male and 5th victim who was taken to Harborview has passed away #CascadeMallShooting
— Sgt. Mark Francis (@wspd7pio) September 24, 2016
The gunman, who was believed to have been armed with a rifle, left before the police arrived, and the mall was evacuated after the 7:45 p.m. shooting, Sergeant Francis said. He described the suspect as a Hispanic man wearing gray.
The authorities believe there was only one gunman, but it was unclear whether he had help, Sergeant Francis said at about midnight in a briefing outside the mall. He said the gunman had last been seen walking toward Interstate 5.
The F.B.I. said early Saturday that it had “no information to suggest that additional attacks” were planned in Washington State, and that it was coordinating intelligence efforts with the local authorities.
After the shooting, the police converged on the mall and were making a store-by-store sweep 440,000-square-foot mall, looking for survivors, some of whom had locked themselves in dressing rooms and other areas, too frightened to come out, KIRO, a television station in Seattle, reported.
“It becomes more commonplace obviously, these shooting situations in our country, but until you’re one of the ones inside a building like that it is really hard to describe,” Sergeant Francis told reporters.
Eric Mathews, 40, who was meeting his son there, said it was a typical Friday night at the mall in Burlington, about 65 miles north of Seattle. He described it as a “teenage scene kind of thing.” He arrived around 7:45 p.m. when the shooting occurred. Mr. Mathews and his son, Kai, 16, left just before the mall was locked down, he said.
Four of Kai’s friends were stuck inside after the mall was locked down, he said.
Referring to his son, Mr. Mathews said: “Imagine I was late or if he didn’t answer his phone. That stuff is running through my mind.”
Stephanie Bost, an employee at Johnny Carino’s, a restaurant at the mall, said a customer said there had been a shooting about 100 yards away. “We went on lockdown” and shut the doors, she said.
“We saw people being evacuated from the mall and running out to their cars,” she added.
Officials also called off the Burlington-Edison High School football game and evacuated the stadium, which is just north of the mall, the Skagit Valley Herald reported.
Sergeant Francis said survivors inside the mall would be bused to a nearby church.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said on Twitter that it was responding to the scene.
Christopher Mele via nytimes.com
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