- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 24, 2016

A gunman was still at large early Saturday after opening fire the night before inside a Washington State shopping mall, killing five.

Police initially reported that four women were found dead upon responding to reports of a shooting around 7 p.m. local time Friday night inside a Macy’s department store inside the Cascade Mall in Burlington, around 70 miles north of Seattle.

A man with life-threatening injuries was transported to a nearby hospital but died there, a Washington State Patrol spokesman later said.

The unidentified gunman was still being sought by authorities as of Saturday morning. Police have circulated an image of their suspect captured by a surveillance camera at the scene, and Lt. Chris Cammock with the Mt. Vernon Police Department described the person as a male in his late teens or 20s armed with a rifle while addressing reporters at a press conference late Saturday morning.

Surveillance footage suggests the suspect entered the mall without a weapon, but had acquired a rifle by the time he walked into Macy’s around 10 minutes later and opened fire, the lieutenant said.

The shooter’s five victims range in age from a teenager to senior citizens, he added.

Police believe the shooter acted alone, and Washington State Patrol spokeswoman Trooper Heather Axtman said there was no immediate reason to consider the event as being terror-related, NBC News reported Saturday morning.

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

Washington State Patrol Sgt. Mark Francis told reporters at a press conference late Friday that dozens upon dozens of detectives were involved in searching for the suspect.

“I’d be extremely diligent and careful if you come in contact with the suspect,” he warned. “Stay indoors, stay secure.”

Cascade Mall said the shopping center would be closed Saturday out of respect for the victims.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic event that occurred this evening. Our prayers and condolences are with the victims and their families,” the mall said in a Facebook post.

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