Tragedy strikes close to home; for LI’s A. F. Branco it is home
The murderer of five people at a Seattle-area shopping mall is still at large, and the FBI has stated that there is no evidence of terrorism in this horrific act.
A gunman who was last seen armed with a rifle remained at large Saturday morning after four women and a man were fatally shot Friday night at a shopping mall about 65 miles north of Seattle, Washington State Patrol said.
The victims were shot in the makeup department at Macy’s at Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington, before 7 p.m. local time, police said.
In addition to the four women who died earlier, a male who had sustained life-threatening injuries died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, several hours after he had been transported there, Sgt. Mark Francis, a public information officer with the Washington State Patrol, announced early Sunday [sic] morning.
The shooter, who has not yet been identified, is still at large, and police are seeking help in locating him.
— Skagit County DEM (@SkagitDEM) September 24, 2016
ABC News continues:
Authorities described the “one lone shooter” as a “Hispanic male” wearing a black shirt, who was last seen walking toward Interstate 5. His motive is unknown.
A helicopter, search teams and K-9 units scoured the area around the mall for the suspect.
Sgt. Francis tweeted a photo of the suspect, writing “Here is the shooter. We believe just one shooter … Armed with rifle.”
Here is the shooter. We believe just one shooter. Notify authorities if you see him. Armed with rifle. pic.twitter.com/GXeWCPYnx5
— Trooper Rocky Oliphant (@wspd7pio) September 24, 2016
Watch the report:
The FBI have announced that there is no reason to believe that this is an act of terrorism.
In another report, ABC News states:
The FBI said Saturday that there is no indication of a terrorism link in a shooting at a Seattle-area mall that killed 5.
“We have no indication this was a terrorism act,” an assistant special agent in the FBI’s Seattle office said at a press conference Saturday morning on the shooting. “There is no evidence to support that.”
The FBI has also announced that there are no known threats or additional attacks planned in Washington state.
— FBI Seattle (@FBISeattle) September 24, 2016
This shooting has hit close to home for LI: for LI’s A. F. Branco, it is home.
Branco shared his reaction via email and has graciously permitted me to publish it here.
“So Close to Home,” actually, it was home.
Sadly, a painful and horrific nightmare was inflicted on my community last night when a supposed lone shooter (still at large) shot and killed 5 people at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington last night. This is a place where my wife and I routinely shop and go to the movies.
My wife’s brother and niece were in the mall when the chaos started. Another close relative was working in Macy’s along with other close relatives in the mall at the time of the shooting. They were all evacuated to safety without harm. While we are relieved and so grateful that they all made it back to their homes safely last night, our hearts are extremely heavy and go out to those who were lost last night and to their families in this senseless act of violence.
Please pray for our community during this incredibly difficult time. Please also pray for our first responders and the law enforcement officers that are still trying to find this person.
A.F. Branco and Family
Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, and his community, including—always—first responders and law enforcement.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.