© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

5 Killed In Shooting At A Washington State Mall; Manhunt Underway

Emergency personnel stand in front of an entrance to the Cascade Mall at the scene of a shooting where five people were killed on Friday in Burlington, Wash.
Stephen Brashear
Emergency personnel stand in front of an entrance to the Cascade Mall at the scene of a shooting where five people were killed on Friday in Burlington, Wash.

Police say 5 people were killed after a shooter opened fire inside a Macy's at a shopping mall in Burlington, Washington on Friday evening.

Authorities are searching for the suspected shooter, who they say left the scene at Cascade Mall before police arrived. He was last seen walking toward a nearby interstate highway. Skagit County's Department of Emergency Management cautioned people to stay indoors and "stay alert."

"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," according to The Associated Press.

Police spokesman Sgt. Mark Francis told reporters that the man was armed with a "long gun, a rifle-type gun." He initially said the suspect is a Hispanic male in his 20s or 30s. At a press conference on Saturday, however, authorities said they were not certain of the suspect's race.

"He was wearing all black ... and he had kind of a close haircut, his hair was kind of scruffy," Francis said. He released a photo of the suspected shooter on Twitter.

"We believe at this point one lone shooter," Francis said. "This investigation will be ongoing, and whether or not someone helped him out in some way is yet to be determined."

The FBI said on Twitter that it is assisting with intelligence review and manpower and adds that it "has no information to suggest additional attacks planned in WA state." FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael Knutson said at a press conference that they have "no indication that there was a terrorism act at this point in time."

Police Lt. Chris Cammock said the suspect walked into the mall without a weapon — and "about 10 minutes later, entered Macy's with a rifle."

Authorities had initially reported four female victims who died at the scene. A 5th victim, who is male, later died in the hospital, as Francis tweeted. The victims' identities have not been released.

"This was a senseless act. It was the world knocking on our doorstep, and it came to our little community here," Burlington Mayor Steve Sexton told reporters. "Our community comes together in times of tragedy, and we're going to do it again."

Burlington is about 65 miles north of Seattle.

This is the second violent incident at a U.S. mall in less than a week. Last Saturday evening, an assailant at a mall in St. Cloud, Minn. stabbed nine people before he was shot dead by an off-duty police officer.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content