A suspect was found dead Tuesday hours after three people were killed in a "random" shooting in Yakima, Washington, authorities said.
The triple homicide happened about 3:30 a.m. at a Circle K market, Yakima Police Chief Matt Murray said.
“There was no apparent conflict between the parties," he said. "The male just walked in and started shooting."
Late Tuesday afternoon, Murray announced that a suspect in the shooting had been discovered near a Target store.
Someone phoned 911 at 2:16 p.m. to report a suspect in the shooting was possibly in the area of the retailer, Murray said. Responding officers heard gunfire and discovered an injured man, he said.
He was later declared dead at the scene, Murray said.
"The suspect apparently shot and killed himself, and that was prior to officers' arrival," Murray said.
Police earlier identified the suspect as Jarid Haddock, 21, of Yakima County.
While Murray said positive identification will take some time, he added, "I can say with pretty good confidence that we believe that is the person involved in those incidents today."
Murray said the suspect, who did not disguise himself, first tried to enter a convenience store where the doors were locked and then stepped inside the Circle K, where two customers were, and began shooting. The gunman also shot someone outside the convenience store, Murray said.
The gunman then went across the street to return to the first gas station and shot multiple times into his own vehicle to get inside because he appeared to have locked his keys in it, he said.
Police initially believed the shooting may have involved a fourth victim but later determined no one was struck when the man opened fire to gain access to the car, Murray said.
The suspect was last seen driving a gray or silver Chrysler 200 eastbound on State Route 24 toward Moxee, 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. We don’t know why.”
On Monday afternoon he acknowledged the suspect had been at large much of the day.
"He was out in the community," Murray said at a news conference at police headquarters. "The threat was never really gone."
He credited a woman near the Target, whose phone the suspect borrowed to call his mother, for helping police find him. She relayed information to authorities, Murray said, including that the man appeared to have confessed to the attack during the call.
The woman also said he had threatened to commit suicide, Murray said.
Investigators were looking at security video to determine what happened.
“We do have video from security at the store, and we’re collecting other video," Murray said. "There were also eyewitnesses who have given us information.”
He said that the motive might not ever be known but that investigators so far believe the homicides in and outside the convenience store were random.
"Literally as he opened the door, he started shooting at the people," Murray said. "He walked out, saw somebody else in a car and shot them."
When the suspect was found, he had a gun and "a large amount" of ammunition, he said.
The country has been plagued by a spate of gun violence. On Saturday night, a gunman fatally shot 11 people and wounded at least nine more in Monterey Park, California.
Ten hours later, at least 12 people were wounded after gunfire erupted in a Louisiana nightclub, according to authorities, who called it a “targeted attack.”
Two students were fatally shot Monday afternoon at a charter school in Des Moines, Iowa.
In Northern California on Monday, at least seven people were killed and one person was seriously injured in a shooting in Half Moon Bay, a coastal city of roughly 11,000 about 30 miles south of San Francisco.
And one person was killed and seven others were injured in a shooting Monday evening in Oakland, California.
The U.S. has had at least 39 mass shootings in the first 24 days of 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit group that defines a mass shooting as a single incident in which at least four people — other than the shooter — are shot.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com