SEATTLE (AP) — A 21-year-old man wanted in connection with the random killing of three people at a convenience store in Yakima, Washington, early Tuesday was being treated by paramedics after police heard gunshots as they approached him, authorities said.
Yakima Police Chief Matt Murray said in a video message posted online that a relative of the suspect called 911 Tuesday afternoon. As officers approached the suspect’s location behind some warehouses, they heard gunshots, and paramedics responded to treat him.
Police did not use force and no officers were wounded, Murray said without elaborating in the social media message. He scheduled a 4 p.m. news conference to provide further details.
“This does appear to bring this case to a conclusion,” he said.
Earlier in the day authorities closed portions of several roads Tuesday as they searched for the suspect, identified as Jarid Haddock, of Yakima County.
No information was immediately provided about the victims, who were found 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. “The male just walked in and started shooting.”
The suspect 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.
Associated Press writers Rebecca Boone in Boise, Idaho, and Andrew Selsky in Salem, Oregon, contributed to this report.