Five people, four women and one man, were fatally shot Friday night by an unidentified gunman at an indoor shopping mall in Burlington, Washington, about 65 miles north of Seattle, according to the Washington State Police. The suspected gunman remains at large.
Sgt. Mark Francis of the State Police told the Seattle Times that emergency medics had entered Cascade Mall and that some people may still be "holed up" inside, though The Associated Press reported Francis said the mall had been evacuated by 8:30 p.m. local time. Francis tweeted that the suspected gunman had left the mall before police arrived at the scene.
Little information has come out about the alleged shooter, aside from a surveillance footage image tweeted by the Skagit County Department of Emergency Management. Police have not provided any information about the victims or if there are any more than the four deceased who may be injured. The FBI has joined the manhunt.
In a statement, Washington governor Jay Inslee said, "Tragedy has struck in Washington tonight. Our hearts are in Burlington where a shooter has taken the lives of at least four people. Many questions remain but our state patrol and local law enforcement are on the scene working swiftly to locate the shooter and clear the area. Trudi and I send our condolences to the families of the victims and prayers for anyone injured. 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."
Brandi Montreuil, who was at the mall's movie theater, told CNN she initially thought it was a drill when theater employees asked moviegoers to evacuate, "But you immediately think about what happened in Aurora, Colorado, so you start moving faster."
At least two deadly mass shootings have taken place at shopping malls in recent years, according to a Los Angeles Times database. In 2007, eight people were killed in an Omaha mall in what was Nebraska's deadliest shooting in nearly half a decade. Earlier that year, an 18-year-old gunman killed five people at a downtown Salt Lake City mall. The deadly mass shooting in Burlington is 2016's sixth, according to a Mother Jones database.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
Sam Stecklow is the Weekend Editor for Fusion.