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5 Killed at Washington State Mall      09/24 08:16

   Police searched Saturday for a gunman authorities said opened fire in the 
makeup department of a Macy's store at a mall north of Seattle, killing four 
females and one man, before fleeing toward an interstate on foot.

   BURLINGTON, Wash. (AP) -- Police searched Saturday for a gunman authorities 
said opened fire in the makeup department of a Macy's store at a mall north of 
Seattle, killing four females and one man, before fleeing toward an interstate 
on foot.

   People fled, customers hid in dressing rooms and employees locked the doors 
of nearby stores after gunshots rang out just after 7 p.m. Friday at the 
Cascade Mall. A helicopter, search teams and K-9 units scoured the area for a 
rifle-carrying man.

   "We are still actively looking for the shooter," Washington State Patrol 
spokesman Sgt. Mark Francis said at a news conference. "Stay indoors, stay 
secure."

   Police said they were looking for a Hispanic man wearing black and armed 
with a "hunting-type" rifle and last seen walking toward Interstate 5. The 
description, including that he appeared Hispanic, was based on statements from 
witnesses, said Given Kutz, a spokesman for the Skagit County Emergency 
Operations Center.

   Authorities say the motive was unknown for the shooting about 60 miles (97 
kilometers) north of Seattle.

   The FBI was assisting local authorities as dozens of police officers 
searched for the suspect. The FBI's Seattle office said on Twitter that it "has 
no information to suggest additional attacks planned" in Washington state but 
did not elaborate.

   The male victim died early Saturday at a Seattle hospital. It was unclear 
where in the mall he was when he was shot. Authorities had previously announced 
the deaths of the four females. No other details about the victims were 
provided, including their ages.

   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 told The 
Associated Press. "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 p.m.

   Francis said at about 8:30 p.m. that the mall had been evacuated and 
emergency medical personnel were cleared to enter. Francis said authorities 
were still doing a "final clear" of the 434,000-square-foot 
(40,319-square-meter) mall late Friday night. He said 11 search teams and two 
K9 units were involved.

   The parking lot was closed and emergency management officials told people 
they would be able to retrieve vehicles Saturday, though the mall said it would 
be closed for the day.

   Gov. Jay Inslee said tragedy had struck the state.

   "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 in a statement.

   The Cascade Mall is an enclosed shopping mall 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.

   On Sept. 17 a man stabbed 10 people at a Minnesota mall before being shot 
and killed by an off-duty police officer. Authorities say Dahir Ahmed Adan, 20, 
stabbed the people at the Crossroads Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota.   


(KA)

 
 
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