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1 killed in Wa. store shooting, police searching for suspect

(NewsNation Now) — Police say one person was killed and another injured Monday morning in a shooting at a Fred Meyer store in Richland, Washington.

Police have described the suspect as a white man who had a handgun and is believed to have fled the store after the 11:04 a.m. shooting.

It’s unknown whether the man got away by foot or in a vehicle, Richland police Commander Chris Lee said.

Initial reports were of yelling and possible gunshots within the store, according to a statement from the Richland Police Department. The suspect remained at large as of 1:30 p.m.

Photos that police shared from store surveillance footage show the suspect wearing a plaid shirt with a dark-colored vest, a black gaiter or scarf pulled over his nose, light-colored pants and athletic shoes.

The Kennewick Police Department tweeted two photos of the suspect at 12:06 p.m. “The suspect should be considered armed and dangerous,” the tweet said. “Please avoid the area due to police activity.”

The department’s original post included a picture of a truck, which the agency has since said was not involved in the shooting.

Robert Cronkhite owns a nearby auto shop and said four employees and some shoppers ran to his store for safety. He said a woman was clutching her three-year-old child as she ran towards his door.

“I’d Never seen terror in anybody’s eyes like I saw today,” Cronkhite said on “NewsNation Prime.”

The Richland Police Department has asked people to avoid the area and encouraged anyone with information to call the non-emergency dispatch line at 509-628-0333.

Employees and customers were escorted out of the store to a parking lot while officers went aisle by aisle searching for the shooter or other victims.

“We are deeply saddened by the incident that occurred,” a spokesperson for Fred Meyer said in a statement. “The entire Fred Meyer family offers our thoughts, prayers, and support to all affected individuals and families during this difficult time.”

The spokesperson said the company is cooperating with local law enforcement and has initiated counseling services for its associates.

The store will remain closed while the police investigation continues, according to the spokesperson.

Richland is about 200 miles southeast of Seattle. It’s part of the Tri-Cities area, which includes Kennewick and Pasco and has a combined population of more than 280,000.

Police and sheriff’s deputies from across the Tri-Cities were called to help, and schools were placed on lockdown.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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