(Reuters) – Three people were killed in a shooting at a convenience store in central Washington state on Tuesday, police said, and the suspect is at large and considered dangerous.
Police were called to a Circle K store in Yakima, Wash., around 3:30 a.m. local time when three people, who have not been identified, were found dead, Deputy Matt Murray told reporters. Two victims were shot inside the store, while a third was shot outside, in what authorities said appeared to be an act of violence.
The reason is not known and the suspect is considered a danger to the community, he said.
“It appears to be a random situation. There was no conflict between the parties,” Murray said. “The guy just walked in and started shooting.”
This week, the United States was shocked by back-to-back shootings in California that left 18 dead.
After opening fire at the store, the suspect ran down the street and opened fire on the car, forcing the driver into the passenger seat. The suspect stole the vehicle, described as a gray or silver Chrysler sedan, and fled, police said.
The condition of the driver, including whether he was injured, is not known.
Police collected security footage and eyewitness accounts as part of the investigation. The police department released a photo on social media of a man dressed in all black, including a hoodie, shirt and jeans, and white Nike sneakers.
Yakima is a city of about 97,000 in Washington’s Yakima Valley, an agricultural region known for its apple orchards and wineries.
(Reporting by Tyler Clifford)