The suspect in a deadly shooting at a Yakima, Wash., convenience store early Tuesday died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Tuesday afternoon after picking up a cell phone to call his mother, authorities said.
The alleged gunman, identified by authorities as 21-year-old Jared Haddock, asked for a cell phone from a woman shopping outside a Target store, Yakima Police Chief Matthew Murray said at a news conference.
The witness who lent the cell phone allegedly heard Hadok’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 going to commit suicide.”
The woman was able to get the phone back from the suspect and called 911, Murray said.
“She was brave about getting us there,” Murray said of the woman. He said he described the shooter walking toward him during the 911 call.
“He said. “He’s walking toward me now,” Murray said.
Police advised the witness to enter the business for his own safety, and officers arrived after the witness called police at 2:16 p.m. local time.
The suspect shot himself before officers arrived, Murray said. Murray said paramedics “tried to save his life” but he was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:15 p.m.
Murray emphasized that no officer fired a weapon during the incident.
Investigators still don’t have a motive for the fatal shootings, Murray said, explaining that “the suspect did have a large amount of ammunition and a weapon when he was located by officers.”
Officers responded to a call early Tuesday morning about a man “shooting parties” at the Circle K convenience store, Murray told reporters at an earlier news conference.
“It appears to be a random situation,” Murray said, noting there was “no apparent conflict between the parties” seen in the security footage. “The guy just walked in and started shooting.”
Police later identified the suspect as Haddock, a resident of Yakima County. Police released surveillance video of Haddock and said he is “considered armed and dangerous.”
Three people were found dead inside the Circle K when officers arrived, said Murray, who initially told reporters that the gunman then walked across the street to an AMPM convenience store and shot a fourth person in their car. The police chief said surveillance video showed a fourth person moving in the passenger seat of the car as the gunman began to steal the vehicle and drive east on state Route 24 in Moxie. At the time, Murray said it was unclear whether a fourth person was hit and, if so, whether the shot was fatal.
Yakima police later confirmed that the fourth shooting victim was missing. The car appears to have been the shooter’s car, and police believe he shot through the window because he locked his keys.
At approximately 2:30 p.m., Yakima police issued a warning on Twitter advising the public to stay away from the intersection due to an “incident (which) appears to be related to this morning’s homicide.”
“This is a dangerous person. It’s accidental, so there’s a risk to the community,” Murray said earlier in the day.