TUKWILA, Wash. – Police on Sunday were searching for a gunman who opened fire in a packed Seattle-area shopping mall, killing one man and critically injuring another, before apparently slipping away in a crowd of panicked shoppers.
Officer Mike Murphy, a police spokesman, said the Saturday afternoon gunfire may have been gang-related. He said police anticipated identifying the shooter "soon" and then making an arrest.
The Southcenter Mall in Tukwila was jammed with thousands of pre-Thanksgiving Day shoppers when the gunman fired multiple shots after apparently getting into an altercation with the two victims, police said. One victim died at a hospital and a second was in critical condition Saturday night.
SWAT teams from all over Puget Sound converged on the mall, which was locked down for six hours. Store employees and customers were allowed to exit in groups. After the search was completed, Murphy said the assailant "must have got out with the crowd."
The assailant and the two victims were all in their late teens or early 20s. Murphy said no other people were injured.
The mall planned to reopen on schedule Sunday morning, Murphy said.