UPDATED: 6:40 a.m. EDT, Sept. 24 — Officials from the Washington State Patrol announced early Saturday that the fifth person, a male victim, involved in the Cascade Mall shooting has died. A manhunt for the suspect, who is believed to have acted alone, is still underway.
UPDATED: 2:33 a.m. EDT, Sept. 24 — Law enforcement is revising the death toll once again, this time to four women. Police confirmed earlier that three women were shot dead in a northwestern Washington state mall and one other victim was left in critical condition.
It was not immediately clear if the fourth person to be declared dead was the person who was critically injured or if it was a separate victim who was not initially accounted for. A different shooting victim was hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries.
UPDATED: 2:28 a.m. EDT, Sept. 24 — Witnesses to Friday night’s deadly mall shooting in northwestern Washington state have come forward with their accounts that underscore the panic many likely experienced during the throes of the gunfire, the Associated Press reported.
After detailing “what sounded like four balloons popping,” Tari Caswell said went on to describe her harrowing experience at the Cascade Mall in Burlington. “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.”
The suspect has been described as a Hispanic male. Burlington, a town of more than 8,300 people, has nearly 32 percent Hispanic population, according to the most recent Census Bureau data available. The gunman fled shortly after the shooting and law enforcement was not able to immediately apprehend him.
UPDATED: 1:54 a.m. EDT, Sept. 24 — There are unconfirmed reports that the suspected gunman may have had an accomplice in Friday’s night’s deadly shooting at the Cascade Mall in northwest Washington state. An unverified Twitter user tweeted that an older white man was seen with the person authorities have identified as the shooting suspect before the deadly rampage took place.
However, the Skagit County Department of Emergency Management announced law enforcement was looking for a “single suspect,” making it uncertain which report was accurate. At least three people died Friday from gunshot wounds and two others were hospitalized with injuries, including one person who was listed in critical condition.
An unidentified witness said the shooter was yelling a woman’s name while he was shooting in the Macy’s department store at Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington, according to an unconfirmed report on Facebook. Three women were reported as the fatal victims in the shooting, which took place about 65 miles north of Seattle.
The FBI’s office in Seattle announced it was aiding local law enforcement with its investigation as police continued to search for the man who was seen on the mall surveillance camera footage carrying what appeared to be a rifle.
The suspect was last seen walking toward Interstate 5, a nearby highway, shortly after the shooting. A motive for the shooting was not immediately clear.
UPDATED: 1:26 a.m. EDT, Sept. 24 — All three people who were killed Friday night in a shooting at a mall in northwest Washington state were women, according to a report from the Seattle Times. Five people were shot in total, including two survivors, one of whom was injured critically. The other survivor sustained non life-threatening injuries.