Washington Circle K shooter apparently kills self as police close in

<span>Photograph: David Zalubowski/AP</span>
Photograph: David Zalubowski/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 shot and killed himself as officers approached him behind some warehouses several hours later, authorities said.

Yakima police chief Matt Murray said in a video message posted online that a woman called 911 on Tuesday afternoon. The caller reported that the man had used her phone to make a call.

“The suspect had borrowed a woman’s phone. He then called his mother and he made several incriminating statements including, ‘I killed those people,’” Murray said.

As officers approached the suspect’s location, they heard gunshots, and paramedics responded to treat him. The man was later declared dead.

Police did not use force and no officers were wounded during the incident, Murray said. “The suspect did have a large amount of ammunition and a weapon” when he was found, he added.

“This does appear to bring this case to a conclusion.”

Earlier in the day authorities closed portions of several roads as they searched for the suspect, identified as Jarid Haddock, of Yakima county.

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No information was immediately provided about the victims, who were found dead at the Circle K convenience store at about 3.30am. Murray said police have security camera video and there are eyewitnesses from the store.

The police chief told reporters early on Tuesday that a gunman entered a Circle K store in the city 150 miles south-east of Seattle in the early hours and opened fire on people inside.

“It appears to be a random situation. There was no apparent conflict between the parties. The male just walked in and started shooting,” Murray told a press conference, which was posted on Tuesday morning to Facebook.

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, so there is a danger to the community,” he said. “We don’t have a motive.”

The attack is yet another outbreak of violence in the early weeks of 2023 as the US 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 (225km) south-east 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.