5 Dead in Washington State Mall Shooting; Massive Manhunt Underway


Emergency personnel stand in front of an entrance to the Cascade Mall at the scene of a shooting where several people were killed, Sept. 23, 2016, in Burlington, Washington.

A massive manhunt is underway in the northwestern U.S. state of Washington for a gunman who fatally shot five people in a shopping mall late Friday.

Four women and one man were killed in a Macy’s store inside the Cascade Mall in the city of Burlington, about 100 kilometers north of Seattle. The women died at the scene and the man later died after being transported to a hospital.

Eyewitnesses said people started running out of the shopping mall soon after gunfire rang out. Over the next few hours, police officers swarmed the area and methodically cleared the mall, then set up a search for the gunman.

Washington State Patrol Sgt. Mark Francis says the shooter, who was believed to have been armed with a rifle, was last seen walking towards a major highway.

Authorities have posted a photograph on social media of the shooting suspect, who authorities describe as a Hispanic man wearing gray clothing.

This video grab provided by the Skagit County Department of Emergency Management shows a suspect wanted by authorities regarding a shooting at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington, Sept. 23, 2016.

State police say the shooters’ motive is not known at this time.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says it is sending agents to Burlington to help local law enforcement.

The Cascade Mall is an enclosed shopping center, featuring department stores, restaurants and a movie theater.

– Voice of America

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