Washington state mall shooting: Police shoot suspect after attack

Image copyright Pete Christt Getty Images Image caption Police are asking for information about the suspect(shown here in a video released by the police department)

Police say a person has been shot at Tacoma Mall in Washington state.

Officers shot a suspect after he charged at them with a firearm, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said.

It released a video of a police dog named Club that pinned down the suspect after the shooting.

There were no known injuries to any other people. Police earlier said the suspect had been shot in the chest.

“At around 2:26pm, on Sept 5, 2018, deputies were called to a report of a male acting in a disorderly manner in the mall, by someone who had followed him to the level of the food court,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement.

“The male was yelling profanities, threatening to burn the mall, and he continued to harass and push patrons until the victim tried to escort him out of the mall.”

The department said its deputies worked for the next couple of hours to restrain the suspect.

The suspect, who was unarmed, then charged deputies with a weapon, triggering a police shoot-out that ended with the suspect being taken into custody.

Images circulating on social media show mall patrons standing on the floor as emergency officers and armed police officers rush to the scene.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says the state will send around 25 National Guard members to guard the state’s malls.

Mall operators, who told people to remain in the mall during the shoot-out, urged people to stay away from the area, and not to come within 5 miles (8km) of the mall.

Washington State Department of Transportation officials issued a “Do Not Enter” advisory for all of Tacoma-Tacoma International Airport.

It said “a shooter situation is currently reported at Tacoma Mall, with multiple casualties and police activity, heavy traffic.”

Image copyright Imgur Image caption Police received a call at around 2.20pm local time (2020 GMT)

Reuters news agency said a witness told it that the suspect was shouting and firing at officers.

The gunman apparently shot himself in the chest, the reports said.

Eileen Cooper told Seattle station KOMO that she was entering the mall when people were told to get on the ground.

“I looked in the food court and there was police everywhere,” she said.

“There were a lot of police and a lot of people. They told us to stay on the ground and keep running.”

Mall operator Taubman Centers Inc said it would close all its malls in Washington state on Wednesday because of the shooting.

It added that authorities were treating the incident as an act of terrorism.

This is not the first shooting at a shopping centre in the Pacific Northwest.

In July 2017, a gunman in New York’s Westfield Century City mall shot and killed two people, including a young boy.

Then in November, a gunman killed a homeless man and critically injured two teenagers outside a shopping centre in Portland, Oregon.

In June 2017, the president of a conservative Seattle suburb resigned after photographs showing him holding a gun in a holster in a cafe were shown to colleagues.

– BBC News

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