Washington state mall shooting: police hunt gunman after four killed

“One lone shooter” remains on the loose following the killing of four women at a a mall north of Seattle, police said on Friday. .

Police have released an image of the suspect they believe is responsible for the shooting at Cascade mall in Burlington, Washington state, about 65 miles (105km) north of Seattle, in which a man also suffered life-threatening injuries.

The FBI tweeted that there was no information to suggest any additional attacks were planned in Washington state.

The attack happened at around 7.30pm local time.

The department of emergency management said police were looking for one “shooter”, described as an hispanic male in a black T-Shirt. Sergeant Mark Francis Tweeted that he was armed with a rifle.

“We are still actively looking for the shooter. Stay indoors, stay secure,” Francis said at a news conference.

Authorities say the motive was unknown.

Officials have asked residents to stay inside and report any suspicious activity.

Francis said at about 8.30pm that the mall had been evacuated and emergency medical personnel were cleared to enter.

Tari Caswell told the Skagit Valley Herald she was in the Macy’s women’s dressing room when she heard “what sounded like four balloons popping.”

“Then I heard seven or eight more, and I just stayed quiet in the dressing room because it just didn’t feel right. And it got very quiet. And then I heard a lady yelling for help, and a man came and got me and another lady, and we ran out of the store,” Caswell told the newspaper.

Stephanie Bose, an assistant general manager at Johnny Carino’s Italian restaurant near the Macy’s store at the mall, said she immediately locked the doors to the restaurant after hearing about the shooting from an employee’s boyfriend.

“He was trying to go to the mall and people were screaming,” she said. “It was frantic.”

She said he could see police at the doors with assault rifles and said they were no longer guarding the doors as of 9.30 pm.

Governor Jay Inslee said in a statement that many questions remain but state patrol and local law enforcement are on the scene working swiftly to locate the shooter and clear the area.

“Trudi and I send our condolences to the families of the victims and prayers for anyone injured. We urge residents to heed all safety and detour warnings. Stay close to your friends and loved ones as we await more information and, hopefully, news of the suspect’s capture.”

The Cascade mall is an enclosed shopping mall in Burlington, Washington, that opened in 1990, according to the mall’s website. It features J.C. Penney, TJ Maxx, and Macy’s stores, among other stores, restaurants and a movie theater.

The shooting comes less than a week after a man stabbed nine people at a mall in central Minnesota before being shot dead.

[Source:-The Guardian]