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Police capture gunman who killed five at Washington state mall

BURLINGTON, Wash. -- A man believed to have opened fire with a rifle at a Washington state mall, killing five people, was captured on Saturday, one day after the attack, authorities said. Washington State Patrol spokesman Keith Leary said in a ph...

Authorities are pictured at the Cascade Mall following reports of an active shooter in Burlington, Washington, U.S. September 23, 2016. REUTERS/Matt Mills McKnight
Authorities are pictured at the Cascade Mall following reports of an active shooter in Burlington, Washington, U.S. September 23, 2016. REUTERS/Matt Mills McKnight

 

BURLINGTON, Wash. -- A man believed to have opened fire with a rifle at a Washington state mall, killing five people, was captured on Saturday, one day after the attack, authorities said.

Washington State Patrol spokesman Keith Leary said in a phone interview that the suspect was taken into custody but declined to immediately release more details.

Seattle television station KOMO reported on Twitter that the suspect had been captured in Oak Harbor, a community about 30 miles southwest of Burlington where the mall shooting occurred on Friday.

Washington state police officials said in messages on Twitter that authorities would hold a news conference to provide further details about the arrest.

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The shooter disappeared under the cover of darkness at the Cascade Mall on Friday, authorities said.

The suspect, whose name has not been released, is believed to have entered the mall in Burlington, about 65 miles north of Seattle, and began shooting at about 7 p.m. on Friday in the cosmetics section of a Macy's department store, police said.

He initially walked into the shopping center without the rifle but surveillance video later caught him brandishing the weapon, said Lieutenant Chris Cammock of the Mount Vernon Police Department at a briefing on Saturday.

The unidentified suspect, who police described on Twitter as a Hispanic male, initially walked into the shopping center without the rifle but surveillance video later caught him brandishing the weapon, said Lt. Chris Cammock of the Mount Vernon Police Department at briefing on Saturday.

The rifle was later recovered at the mall, said Cammock, who is commander of the Skagit County Multi-Agency Response Team.

Four women were killed in the rampage, which police believe was carried out by a lone gunman. Later a man who was seriously wounded in the shooting died at a local hospital. None of the victims were identified.

Steve Sexton, the mayor of Burlington, described the shooting as a "senseless act."

"It was the world knocking on our doorstep and it came to our little community here," he said before acknowledging the response by law enforcement. "I know now our support goes with them to bring this son of a bitch to justice."

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Authorities offered no information about a possible motive for the attack, which followed a series of violent outbursts at shopping centers across the United States, including the stabbing of nine people at a Minnesota center last weekend.

"We have no indication that we have a terrorism act," said Michael Knutson, assistant special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Seattle office. "I can't discount that, but I can't conclude it either."

After the shooting, police and rescue workers worked their way through the mall, clearing stores and evacuating shoppers, some of whom locked themselves in dressing rooms. The mall remained closed on Saturday as investigators sifted for evidence and attempted to recreate the crime scene.

Related Topics: CRIME
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