October 21, 2016

Shooter on the loose after US mall shooting

An image uploaded to Twitter appears to show emergency services at the scene. Photo: Twitter: @wspd7pio

Three people are reported to have been shot dead and two wounded during a shooting at a mall in the US state of Washington.

The Cascade Mall and nearby shops have been sealed off and a search for the shooter is under way.

A suspected gunman was seen heading towards a nearby motorway, Interstate 5, theSeattle Times reported.

Authorities initially said on social media that four people were killed in the shooting, that occurred at about 7pm local time Friday at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, about 105 km north of Seattle.

ABC News and several local media outlets reported that three, not four, people were fatally wounded. Three women were shot dead, a man was critically injured and another woman suffered non-life threatening injuries, Washington State Patrol spokesman Mark Francis told the network.

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Photo: Google Maps

Mr Francis said on Twitter that survivors were being taken to a nearby church.

He described the suspect seen walking towards the motorway as a “Hispanic male wearing grey”.

Mr Francis said the gunman had left the scene before police arrived.

A local hospital told a CBS affiliate that it has received one casualty from the shooting. The station reported that a nearby high school football game was evacuated as a precaution.

Rescue workers were entering the mall to attend to the injured, Francis said in a Twitter post.

“Tragedy has struck in Washington tonight. Our hearts are in Burlington,” Governor Jay Inslee said on Twitter.

The shooting comes less than a week after a man stabbed nine people at a mall in central Minnesota before being shot dead. The FBI is investigating that attack as a potential act of terrorism.

NBC News reported that Washington State Patrol have said that there is no indication of terrorism in the shooting in Burlington.

Burlington is about 105km north of Seattle.

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