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Four women shot dead in Washington

 

 

Four women were shot dead and a man wounded during a shooting at a shopping centre in the US state of Washington where authorities were searching for the gunman, several media outlets have reported.

The shootings occurred at about 7pm local time at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington, about 105km north of Seattle.

Washington State Patrol spokesman Mark Francis said on Twitter that police were actively searching for the shooter, who was described as a “Hispanic male wearing gray” and last seen walking toward a nearby highway away from the mall.

“Tragedy has struck in Washington tonight. Our hearts are in Burlington,” Governor Jay Inslee said on Twitter.

A local CBS affiliate reported that a nearby high school football game was evacuated as a precaution.

The shooting comes less than a week after a man stabbed nine people at a mall in central Minnesota before being shot dead.

The FBI is investigating that attack as a potential act of terrorism.

The mall was evacuated, police swarmed the area and medics rushed to the scene to help the wounded after the mall was initially placed on lockdown and cleared.

Multiple law enforcement agencies and sniffer dogs were searching for the suspect.

Mr Francis said survivors were being transported by bus to a nearby church.

Witnesses told KOMO News that a shooter walked into Macy’s and opened fire. Nearby businesses were evacuated, the television station added.

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