At least four people have been killed in a shocking shootout inside a mall in US state of Washington. As per the latest reports, police is still searching for the lone shooter, who opened fire inside the busy Cascade mall in Burlington, about a 100 km north of Seattle, on Friday evening.
“4 confirmed deceased in the mall, shooter(s) left scene before police arrived, unknown # of shooter, possibly just 1, police clearing mall now,” Spokesman Washington State Patrol Francis shared on a micro-blogging site Twitter.
The suspect was last seen walking toward the Interstate 5 highway from the mall before police arrived, Francis said.
“We’re actively searching for suspect, tracking leads, etc,” the spokesperson added.
According to local media reports, the shooter apparently entered the mall about 7:00 PM (local time) through one of its stores ‘Macy’s’. Local police described the suspect as appearing between 20 to 25 years old, with a “skinny built”, black messy hair and wearing a black shirt.
Brandi Montreuil, who was at the mall, said she was at the movies when they were told to leave.
“I didn’t know anything. The theater attendant came in and apologised for stopping the movie and said they (theatre staff) were asked to have everyone leave immediately,” she was quoted as saying by the US press.
The eyewitness first thought it was a drill but she soon realised the quantum of the incident. “But you immediately think about what happened in Aurora, Colorado, so you start moving faster,” Montreuil said, referring to the shooting in 2012 that left 12 dead.
Meanwhile, Washington State authorities pressed emergency medical services (EMS) to counter the situation.
“EMS starting to enter to attend to injured inside Mall w/police escort and after initial clearance,” Francis said on Twitter, adding, “Once EMS gets in, holding out hope that the number confirmed goes down.”