Washington state store shooting leaves 3 dead, suspect flees

Jan 24 (Reuters) – Three people were killed in a shooting at a grocery store in central Washington state early on Tuesday, police said, and the suspect fled and is considered armed and dangerous.

Police responded to a Circle K in Yakima, Washington, around 3:30 a.m. local time where three people, who have not been identified, were found dead, Chief Matt Murray told reporters.

Two of the victims were killed inside the store in what authorities said appeared to be a random act of violence, and a third was shot outside.

The suspect was identified as Jarid Haddock, 21, of Yakima County. The motive was not yet clear, authorities said.

“It appears to be a random situation. There was no apparent conflict between the parties,” Murray said. “The man just walked in and started shooting.”

This week, two shooting massacres in California have killed 18 people and shocked the country.

After opening fire in the store, the suspect ran across the street and fired shots in front of a vehicle, forcing the driver into the passenger seat. The suspect stole the car, described as a gray or silver Chrysler sedan, and fled, according to police. The driver’s condition and whether he is injured is unknown.

Law enforcement collected security footage and eyewitness testimony at the scene as part of the investigation.

The police department posted a photo on social media of a man dressed in black, including a hat, hoodie and jeans, and white Nike shoes.

Yakima is a city of about 97,000 located in Washington’s Yamika Valley, an agricultural region known for its apple farms and wineries.

(Reporting by Tyler Clifford in New York; Editing in Spanish by Aida Peláez-Fernández)

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