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3 people shot and killed in Washington state; suspect dies from self-inflicted gunshot wound, police say

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Posted at 12:16 PM, Jan 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-27 12:27:39-05

UPDATE

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.



    ORIGINAL REPORT

    Three people were confirmed dead after a shooting in southern Washington state early Tuesday morning, authorities said. The gunman, whom officials have not yet identified, may have also shot a fourth person whose injuries are unknown before stealing that person's car and fleeing the scene, according to the Yakima Police Department.

    The suspect remained at large when the department — which covers the city in the rural Yakima Valley, known mainly for agriculture — shared its first and most recent update on the situation several hours after it occurred at around 3:30 a.m. PT. Officers initially responded to a call that reported a man "shooting parties" at a Circle K convenience store, said Yakima Police Chief Matthew Murray at a news conference recorded at the scene and shared on Facebook.

    "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."

    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 the 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.

    However, in an additional update shared to the Yakima Police Department's Twitter page shortly after, officials said that new information suggested "there may not have been a fourth shooting victim," and asked the public to "keep in mind that this is a rapidly evolving situation and information may change as further details are uncovered."

    Murray said at the morning news conference that police intend to release photos of the suspect as they mobilize all resources necessary "to find him." Authorities believe that the suspect fled driving a grey or silver Chrysler 200 sedan.

    The police chief warned the public to be aware of a potential ongoing threat to the community as the gunman's location remained on the run.

    "This is a dangerous person. It's random so there is a danger to the community," Murray said. "We don't have a motive, we don't know why. So we will do everything we can to locate and apprehend that person and keep the public informed."