Three people were shot dead in what police say was an apparently unprovoked, random shooting attack at a Circle K convenience store and gas station in Yakima, Washington, early Tuesday after a young man fatally shot them.
A city of around 100,000 people, Yakima sits 160 kilometers southeast of Seattle in a largely agricultural region, with fruit and hops as the main crops.
The gunman – identified later as 21-year-old Jarid Haddock of Yakima County- was being pursued by the police in the western US state and was later found dead following the hours-long manhunt from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot.
Yakima Police Chief Matthew Murray told reporters that the incident appears to be a random attack since there was no apparent conflict between the involved parties.
Murray said that the examination of the surveillance footage from the area around the Circle K store after the attack showed that the first shooting was inside the store after which the shooter went outside and shot another victim outside the store while the third victim was shot across the street.
According to him, the suspect had a large amount of ammunition and a weapon when he was found, noting that they still don’t have a motive for the attack.
In the latest spasm of gun violence to shake the United States, the shooting in Yakima comes on the heels of two mass shootings in California that have left 18 people dead in California in the last couple of days.
As the US grapples yet again with the horror of spiraling gun violence, an elderly Asian man rampaged through a dance studio in Monterey Park, near Los Angeles, on Saturday night killing 11 people celebrating Lunar New Year before shooting himself dead as police moved in on his van several hours later.
Two days later, on Monday, a Chinese-American farmworker is believed to have opened fire on his colleagues at two agricultural sites south of San Francisco, killing seven people.
And just over a week ago at a property in Goshen, central California, six people- including a teenage mother and baby- were killed in an attack.
Per research group the Gun Violence Archive, there have been more mass shootings in the US so far this year than days in 2023 with 39 mass shootings in the first three weeks of the year.
According to the data, most of the incidents were in the South of the country, including in Louisiana and Florida.