Police plead for help IDing gunman after 5 killed at Washington mall

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

Police pleaded with the public for help identifying a gunman who fled after killing four women and a man at a Washington state mall Friday night.

As authorities determine a motive, they said Saturday that there was no immediate evidence the attack was terror-related.

The suspect, dressed in a black T-shirt and black shorts, was seen on surveillance footage at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, about 65 miles north of Seattle, where he opened fire inside a Macy's department store.

Authorities don't know his whereabouts or identity, but believe he is a Hispanic man in his 20s or 30s.

"Hopefully people who know and recognize this individual will help us," Mt. Vernon Lt. Chris Cammock said at a Saturday morning news conference.

Security footage showed the man entering the mall, apparently without a weapon. In additional footage from about 10 minutes later, he "entered Macy's with a rifle and fired multiple times," Cammock said.

The shots killed the four females — who ranged in age from one in her teens to another who was a senior citizen — in the store. The man suffered critical injuries but later died.

A rifle was recovered at the scene, Cammock said, but refused to disclose how many shots were fired or what the caliber of the weapon was due to the ongoing investigation.

Authorities do not yet have a motive. Victims' identities won't be released until after autopsies are completed, they said Saturday.

RELATED: 5 dead in Washington state mall shooting

17 PHOTOS
5 dead in Washington state mall shooting
See Gallery
5 dead in Washington state mall shooting
Arcan Cetin, 20, of Oak Harbor is seen in a Washington State Department of Licensing photo released by the Washington State Patrol after they announced his capture in relation to a mass shooting in Burlington, Washington, U.S. September 24, 2016. Washington State Patrol/Handout via Reuters FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
An image taken from security video shows the gunman who opened fire in the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington on Friday night, and who is still at large, released by the Washington State Patrol, September 24, 2016. Sgt Mark Francis/Washington State Patrol/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Authorities are pictured at the Cascade Mall following reports of an active shooter in Burlington, Washington, U.S. September 24, 2016. REUTERS/Matt Mills McKnight
Authorities are pictured at the Cascade Mall following reports of an active shooter in Burlington, Washington, U.S. September 24, 2016. REUTERS/Matt Mills McKnight TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Washington State Trooper Mark Francis speaks to the media 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
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 seen at the Cascade Mall following reports of an active shooter in Burlington, Washington, U.S. September 23, 2016. REUTERS/Matt Mills McKnight
Authorities are shown at the Cascade Mall following reports of an active shooter in Burlington, Washington, U.S. September 23, 2016. REUTERS/Matt Mills McKnight
Washington State Trooper Mark Francis speaks to the media at the Cascade Mall following reports of an active shooter in Burlington, Washington, U.S. September 23, 2016. REUTERS/Matt Mills McKnight TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Bellingham SWAT officers are seen at the Cascade Mall following reports of an active shooter in Burlington, Washington, U.S. September 23, 2016. REUTERS/Matt Mills McKnight TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Medics wait to gain access to the Cascade Mall after four people were shot dead in Burlington, Washington, U.S. September 24, 2016. Sgt Mark Francis/Washington State Patrol/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. THIS PICTURE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY. AN UNPROCESSED VERSION HAS BEEN PROVIDED SEPARATELY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
BURLINGTON, WA - SEPTEMBER 23: Police attend the Cascade Mall after three women were reportedly shot dead and a man critically injured following a shooting at the shopping center on September 23, 2016 in Burlington, Washington. The suspect is believed to still be at large. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
BURLINGTON, WA - SEPTEMBER 23: The scene outside the Cascade Mall as people are evacuated on buses after three women were reportedly shot dead and a man critically injured following a shooting at the shopping center on September 23, 2016 in Burlington, Washington. The suspect is believed to still be at large. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
Medics wait to gain access to the Cascade Mall after four people were shot dead in Burlington, Washington, U.S. September 24, 2016. Sgt Mark Francis/Washington State Patrol/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. THIS PICTURE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY. AN UNPROCESSED VERSION HAS BEEN PROVIDED SEPARATELY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
BURLINGTON, WA - SEPTEMBER 24: (L-R) Ariel Pantoja, 19, Bayley Morrow, 18 and Makayla Bentley, 18, light candles at a makeshift memorial outside the Cascade Mall on September 24, 2016 in Burlington, Washington. Around 20 people gathered to honor the five victims who were killed in a shooting at the Cascade Mall in Burlington yesterday. It has been reported that the gunman has been taken into custody. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Detectives have interviewed more than 20 people and scoured tips on social media and by phone.

The chaotic aftermath of Friday's shooting was hampered by the fact that once officers arrived on-scene at the 400,000 square-foot mall, they weren't aware that the gunman had already fled, officials said.

"This was a long, drawn-out process," said Tom Moser, Burlington's assistant police chief.

Officers helped employees and shoppers, many of whom were sheltering in stores, exit the Macy's, he said, while searching every inch of the mall for a suspect.

Officials believe the gunman acted alone and have no indication it was a terrorist act.

"I'd be extremely diligent and careful if you come in contact with the suspect," Washington State Sgt. Mark Francis warned in a Friday night news conference. "Stay indoors, stay secure."

Reports about a shooting started coming in around 7 p.m. local time, Washington State Trooper spokeswoman Heather Axtman said earlier.

"We have very little information right now," Axtman said. "We're still trying to gather as many witnesses as we can to get more information."

The FBI was assisting local authorities as dozens of police officers searched for the suspect. The FBI's Seattle office said on Twitter that it "has no information to suggest additional attacks planned" in Washington state but did not elaborate.

Stephanie Bose, an assistant general manager at Johnny Carino's Italian restaurant near the Macy's store at the mall, said she immediately locked the doors to the restaurant after hearing about the shooting from an employee's boyfriend.

"He was trying to go to the mall and people were screaming," she told The Associated Press. "It was frantic."

The mall said it would be closed Saturday "out of respect for the victims of this tragic event and their families."

The mayor of Burlington asked for prayers for the victims' families.

"There are people waking up this morning who are waking up, their whole world changed forever," Steve Sexton said Saturday.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners