At least four people were killed and one person gravely wounded when a gunman opened fire inside a Washington shopping mall Friday evening, sending panicked shoppers running for their lives, police said.
Reports of an armed man at the Cascade Mall in Burlington some 65 miles north of Seattle first came in around 7 p.m. local time, a police spokeswoman told the Daily News.
The gunman allegedly walked into the mall’s Macy’s store and opened fire, killing four women and critically wounding one male.
A motive for the shooting was not immediately known.
The shooter — described as a Hispanic male wearing all black — was still on the loose early Saturday, Washington State Sgt. Mark Francis said over Twitter.
“We believe just one shooter…Armed with rifle,” Francis captioned a photo of the alleged gunman.
After the shooting rampage, the man was spotted running towards a major highway.
Stephanie Bose, a manager at an Italian restaurant near Macy’s, said she immediately locked all doors after a co-worker’s boyfriend alerted her of the shooting.
“He was trying to go to the mall and people were screaming,” she said. “It was frantic.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee took to Twitter early Saturday to offer his condolences and prayers.
“Tragedy has struck in Washington tonight,” Inslee said. “Our hearts are in Burlington where a shooter has taken the lives of at least four people.”
EMS personnel were entering the mall just before midnight. At least one person suffered non-life threatening injuries in the mayhem, police said.
Shoppers and employees were bused to a nearby church to meet up with family shortly after midnight.
Police urged the public to stay away from the area as FBI agents from Seattle joined local officers in a manhunt early Saturday.
With News Wire Services
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