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Friday, 23 September 2016
Shooting in washington state...3 dead 2 critically injured
A gunman opened fire in a crowded mall north of Seattle, killing three people and critically wounding another before fleeing, authorities in the US state of Washington said.
The Washington State Patrol said the four were shot on Friday at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, about 105km north of Seattle. It previously said four people had been killed.
Sergeant Mark Francis said authorities were searching for a "Hispanic male wearing grey" who was last seen walking towards a highway from the mall.
"We are still actively looking for the shooter. Stay indoors, stay secure," Francis said at a news conference.
Francis said three females were killed, one male suffered life-threatening injuries, and another female suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Tari Caswell told the Skagit Valley Herald newspaper 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 said.
An employee at a restaurant near the mall said they "immediately locked the doors" when they heard of the mayhem on Friday night.
Stephanie Bose, an assistant general manager at Johnny Carino's Italian restaurant in Burlington, told the Associated Press news agency the shooting happened inside Macy's department store. Her restaurant is just outside Macy's.
"He was trying to go to the mall and people were screaming," she said. "It was frantic."
It was not clear how many people were hurt in the attack. Medical workers entered the mall to treat the wounded.
Governor Jay Inslee said in a statement the state patrol and local law enforcement were on the scene to locate the shooter and clear the area.
"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," Inslee said.
Francis said survivors would be transported by bus to a nearby church.