Four women and a man were killed on Friday night by an unidentified man at a shopping mall near Seattle in Washington state in yet another instance of mass shooting in the United States.
The gunman, who was described by authorities as a “Hispanic man”, was still at large. Though he was caught on surveillance footage, he had not been identified and his links to the victims were not known.
The killings took place in the Macy’s retail store at Cascade Mall in Burlington, which is 105 km from Seattle.
The gunman was last seen leaving the premises.
In 2016 alone, 311 Americans died in mass shootings, each involving four or more victims killed or wounded, in the country, which continues to debate gun control, stumbling from one incident to the next.
President Barack Obama has raged, ranted and teared up publicly, after the killing of 26 people, including 20 sixth-graders in Newtown, in frustration.
A powerful gun lobby led by the National Rifle Association has managed to kill every move made in the direction of even the smallest measure of control, such as a comprehensive background check of proactive buyers to prevent weapons, some of them as lethal as those used by the military, from falling into the wrong hands.
Citing Gun Violence Archive, which tracks shootings, the Seattle Times said the mall incident was the seventh case of mass shooting in Washington state in 2016.
The shooter was carrying a weapon similar to a hunting rifle, according to local police, who also tweeted out a blurry image of him grabbed from surveillance footage.
They added that they believed he was acting alone.