3 people shot and killed in Washington state; suspect dies from self-inflicted gunshot wound, police say
The suspect in the fatal shooting of three people at a convenience store in Yakima, Washington, early Tuesday morning died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound Tuesday afternoon after borrowing a cell phone to call his mother, authorities said.
The suspected gunman, who authorities identified as 21-year-old Jarid Haddock, asked to borrow a cell phone from a woman shopping near a Target store, Yakima Police Chief Matthew Murray said in a press conference.
The witness who lent the cellphone allegedly overheard Haddock's conversation with his mother.
"He made several incriminating statements including, 'I killed those people,'" Murray said. "He made several statements in front of her that he was then going to kill himself."
The woman was able to get her phone back from the suspect and call 911, Murray said.
"She was courageous in getting us there," Murray said of the woman. He said that in the 911 call, she described the shooter walking towards her.
"She said, 'He's walking towards me now,'" Murray said.
Police advised the witness to go inside a business to keep herself safe, and officers arrived at the location shortly after the witness called the police at 2:16 p.m. local time.
The suspect shot himself prior to officers' arrival, Murray said. Paramedics "tried to save his life," but he was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:15 p.m., Murray disclosed.
Murray emphasized that no officers fired their weapons during the incident.
Investigators still don't have a motive for the fatal killings, Murray said, disclosing that the "suspect did have a large amount of ammunition and a weapon when he was located by officers."
Early Tuesday morning, officers responded to a call that reported a man "shooting parties" at a Circle K convenience store, Murray told reporters in an earlier news conference.
"It appears to be a random situation," said Murray, noting that "there was no apparent conflict between the parties" seen on security footage. "The male just walked in and started shooting."
Police later identified the suspect as Haddock, a Yakima County resident. Police released a surveillance video image of Haddock and said he is "considered armed and dangerous."
Three people were found dead at the Circle K when officers arrived, said Murray, who initially told reporters that the gunman then crossed the street to an AMPM convenience store, and shot a fourth person inside their car. The police chief said surveillance footage showed a fourth person move into the passenger seat of the vehicle as the gunman proceeded to steal the car and drive East toward Moxee on state Route 24. At the time, Murray noted that it was unclear whether the fourth person was hit, and if they were, whether the shot was fatal.
Yakima police later confirmed that there was not a fourth shooting victim. It appears that the car was the shooter's vehicle, and police suggested he may have shot the window because he had locked his keys inside.
At about 2:30 p.m., Yakima police issued a warning on Twitter advising the public to stay away from an intersection because of an "incident (that) appears to be related to this morning's homicide incident."
"This is a dangerous person. It's random so there is a danger to the community," Murray said earlier in the day.
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