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At least four killed after gunfire breaks out at Washington mall

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Updated: Saturday, September 24, 2016, 4:00 AM

At least four people were killed and one person gravely wounded when a gunman opened fire inside a Washington shopping mall Friday evening, sending panicked shoppers running for their lives, police said.

Reports of an armed man at the Cascade Mall in Burlington some 65 miles north of Seattle first came in around 7 p.m. local time, a police spokeswoman told the Daily News. 

The gunman allegedly walked into the women’s section of the mall’s Macy’s store and opened fire, killing four women and critically wounding one male.

A motive for the shooting was not immediately known.

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The shooter — described as a Hispanic male dressed in all black — was still on the loose early Saturday, Washington State Sgt. Mark Francis said over Twitter.

“We believe just one shooter…Armed with rifle,” Francis captioned a photo of the alleged gunman.

https:/ witter.com/Basspeculiare/status/779531481169350657

The unidentified gunman could be seen on surveillance footage armed with what appears to be a rifle. 

(@Basspeculiare via Twitter)

Directly after the shooting rampage, the man was spotted running south towards a major highway. He hasn’t been seen since, police said. 

Tari Caswell was in a Macy’s dressing room when she heard “what sounded like four balloons popping.” 

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“Then I heard seven or eight more, and I just stayed quiet in the dressing room because it just didn’t feel right,” Caswell told the Skagit Valley Herald. “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.”

Stephanie Bose, a manager at an Italian restaurant near Macy’s, said she immediately locked all doors after a co-worker’s boyfriend alerted her of the shooting.

“He was trying to go to the mall and people were screaming,” she said. “It was frantic.”

MANDATORY CREDIT TO BOTH THE SEATTLE TIMES AND THE PHOTOGRAPHER; SEATTLE OUT, USA TODAY OUT, MAGAZINES OUT, TELEVISION OUT, SALES OUT. MANDATORY CREDIT TO: DEAN RUTZ/THE SEATTLE TIMES; ONLINE OUT

Law enforcement officers stand outside of Cascade Mall in Burlington, Wash., where several people were fatally shot on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016. Authorities in Washington State say several people have been killed during a shooting at the mall north of Seattle and that at least one suspect remains at large. Sgt. Mark Francis says authorities are searching for a man wearing gray who was last seen walking toward Interstate 5 from the mall. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times via AP)

(Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT TO BOTH THE SEATTLE TIMES AND THE PHOTOGRAPHER; SEATTLE OUT, USA TODAY OUT, MAGAZINES OUT, TELEVISION OUT, SALES OUT. MANDATORY CREDIT TO: DEAN RUTZ/THE SEATTLE TIMES

Law enforcement officers work at the crime scene outside of Cascade Mall in Burlington, Wash., where several people were fatally shot on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016. Authorities in Washington State say several people have been killed during a shooting at the mall north of Seattle and that at least one suspect remains at large. Sgt. Mark Francis says authorities are searching for a man wearing gray who was last seen walking toward Interstate 5 from the mall. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times via AP)

(Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times via AP) BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE. MANDATORY CREDIT TO BOTH THE SEATTLE TIMES AND THE PHOTOGRAPHER; SEATTLE OUT, USA TODAY OUT, MAGAZINES OUT, TELEVISION OUT, SALES OUT. MANDATORY CREDIT TO: DEAN RUTZ/THE SEATTLE TIMES

Law enforcement officers work at the crime scene outside of Cascade Mall in Burlington, Wash., where several people were fatally shot on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016. Authorities in Washington State say several people have been killed during a shooting at the mall north of Seattle and that at least one suspect remains at large. Sgt. Mark Francis says authorities are searching for a man wearing gray who was last seen walking toward Interstate 5 from the mall. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times via AP)

(Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times via AP)

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee took to Twitter early Saturday to offer his condolences and prayers.

“Tragedy has struck in Washington tonight,” Inslee said. “Our hearts are in Burlington where a shooter has taken the lives of at least four people.”

EMS personnel were entering the mall just before midnight. It was not immediately clear how many people were injured in the mayhem, police said.

Stunned shoppers and employees were bused to a nearby church to meet up with family. 

Police urged the public to stay away from the area as FBI agents from Seattle joined local officers in a manhunt that stretched into the pre-dawn hours.

https://twitter.com/wspd7pio/status/779521777575747584

EMS personnel were entering the mall just before midnight. 

(Sgt. Mark Francis via Twitter)

“We’re doing everything we can to find this person. Stay vigilant. If you see something, just like they say, say something,” Sgt. Francis said at a news conference.  

As cops flooded the area, the Cascade Mall announced over Twitter it would keep closed Saturday “out of respect for the victims of this tragic event.”

With News Wire Services

This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.

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