Terror at Macy’s: Gunman walks into makeup dept. and starts shooting people dead – suspect on the loose

A gunman remains at large after opening fire at a mall in Washington state on Friday evening, killing four women and critically injuring a man.

Police were searching for a man wearing black and armed with a rifle who was last seen walking toward Interstate 5 near the Cascade Mall in Burlington.

The suspect allegedly opened fire around 7 p.m. at the makeup department of a Macy’s store at the mall in Burlington, about 65 miles north of Seattle, Washington State Sgt. Mark Francis said, according to NBC News

“I’d be extremely diligent and careful if you come in contact with the suspect,” Francis said in a news conference. “He killed four people. He seriously injured a fifth who might also pass away. Stay indoors, stay secure.”

He added: “You’ve got dozens and dozens of detectives behind me going over absolutely every tip both on social media and phone calls trying to determine where this suspect is.”

The number of casualties fluctuated with police initially saying four people were killed, then three, before revising the number again as authorities searched the 434,000-square-foot mall. There was no immediate motive and no indication that the shooting was terror related, according to Washington State Trooper spokeswoman Heather Axtman, NBC reported.

“We have very little information right now,” Axtman said. “We’re still trying to gather as many witnesses as we can to get more information.”

Tari Caswell told the Skagit Valley Herald she was in the dressing room in Macy’s when she heard “what sounded like four balloons popping, and I thought that was strange because I hadn’t seen any balloons.”

“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.”

Access roads to mall entrances and streets surrounding the mall were closed off by police. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives as well as the FBI’s Seattle were assisting local authorities.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement that authorities were diligently working to apprehend the shooter.

“Trudi and I send our condolences to the families of the victims and prayers for anyone injured,” Inslee said. “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.”

The mall said it would be closed Saturday “out of respect for the victims of this tragic event and their families,” NBC reported.

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Frieda Powers

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