Authorities closed portions of several roads Tuesday as they searched for the suspect in an apparently random shooting at a Yakima, Washington, convenience store that left three people dead.
Yakima police Chief Matt Murray said officers found the victims dead at the Circle K convenience store about 3:30 a.m. Murray said police have security camera video and eyewitnesses from the store.
“There was no apparent conflict between the parties,” Murray said during a news conference. "The male just walked in and started shooting.”
Police did not immediately release additional details about the victims but said the suspect — identified as 21-year-old Jarid Haddock, of Yakima County — should be considered armed and dangerous. He drove away in a gray or silver sedan, possibly a Chrysler 200, heading toward the suburban community of Moxee on Highway 24, Murray said,
“This is a dangerous person and it’s random, so there is a danger to the community,” Murray said. “We don’t have a motive.”
The attack is yet another outbreak of violence in the early weeks of 2023 as the U.S. suffers a wave of mass killings that has claimed dozens of lives.
Police converged on a home across a road from a storage facility on the outskirts of the city of nearly 100,000 residents about 140 miles (225 kilometers) southeast of Seattle. Court records listed a home in the area as a previously known address for Haddock.
Haddock appeared to have little criminal history. He was arrested in March 2020 after police saw him in a car that had been stolen from a woman who had left it running; he ran from officers who pulled him over, according to charging documents filed in Yakima County Superior Court, and he reported being homeless.
He successfully completed a diversion program, despite twice violating its terms by using methamphetamine or heroin, and the charges were dismissed in December 2021.
At Yakima Riverside Storage, across the street from the SWAT response, receptionist Tabitha Johnson said she was taking the unusual precaution of locking the doors, which she can monitor through windows and security cameras.
“It’s quite scary, but Yakima isn’t new to shootings,” the 39-year-old said.
A Yakima Police Department spokesperson did not immediately return a message from The Associated Press seeking additional information.
When officers responded to the Circle K, they also found a second shooting scene at an ampm convenience store across the street, Murray said. Police initially believed that the shooter fired into a nearby car, possibly injuring a person inside before stealing the vehicle and fleeing, but the Police Department later said it appeared the gunman had fired into his own car, possibly after being locked out of it.