A man carrying a rifle entered a Macy’s store at a mall in Washington state, killed four women and vanished into the night, authorities said.
The shooting at Cascade Mall in Burlington left one man injured Friday night, said Sgt. Mark Francis, a spokesman for the state patrol.
Authorities believe only one shooter is involved and are searching for a man who headed toward Interstate 5 after the attack.
They released a blurry surveillance video picture of an armed man they described as the suspect.
His motive or relationship to the women, if any, were unclear.
Witnesses described chaotic scenes and confusion when the shooting started about 7 p.m. local time
Brandi Montreuil told CNN she was watching a movie at the mall when attendants suddenly told them to leave.
“I didn’t know anything,” she said. “The theater attendant came in and apologized for stopping the movie and said they (theater staff) were asked to have everyone leave immediately.”
At first, she thought it was a drill.
“But you immediately think about what happened in Aurora, Colorado, so you start moving faster,” she said, referring to the shooting at a movie theater in 2012 that left 12 dead.
When they got outside, they saw numerous police vehicles, but no officers in sight, Montreuil said.
“We didn’t know if it was a fire so we were looking for smoke of some kind. Then a few officers started canvassing through the crowds asking if anybody saw anything.”
An officer “with a large gun started yelling for people to leave, and fast,” she said.
Armando Patino said he was working at a T-Mobile store near Macy’s when he heard the commotion.
“Out of nowhere I just hear somebody yell and then after that, I turn around and just look at the Macy’s and I just hear shots,” Patino told CNN affiliate KOMO.
“I hear one shot and and then stand kinda still and like two three other people start running out saying, ‘gun.’ “
Some of the people dashed out of the Macy’s store, unsure of where to go.
“I just moved them into the [T-Mobile] store,” Patino said.
“We went in the back where we have a door … and we just stayed there until they told us to evacuate.”
Avoid mall area
Survivors were transported by bus to a nearby church.
Authorities warned people to stay indoors and avoid the mall area. Those who left their cars at the mall were told to check back the next day.
“Cascade Mall still an active scene,” the Skagit County emergency office tweeted. “Stay alert. Call 911 if you see anything.”