The suspect in the nighttime fatal shooting that killed three people in Yakima, Washington, has died after committing suicide, the Yakima police chief said Tuesday.
Police were alerted to the suspect’s location after receiving a 911 call from a woman who had lent the suspect her phone near a Target store in Yakima, police chief Matt Murray said at a news conference Tuesday night.
Officers responded immediately and were on the scene within minutes, according to the chief.
“The suspect apparently shot himself and that was before the officers arrived. There were officers who heard the shots, but no one actually saw him do it,” Murray said.
Officials tried to save his life, but he was later pronounced dead, according to Murray, who had indicated earlier Tuesday that the suspect had been taken into custody.
The chief said officials must go through the formal process to identify the suspect, “but I can say with pretty good confidence that we believe this is the person involved.”
Police had previously identified the “suspected murder suspect” as Jarid Haddock, 21, a resident of Yakima County, according to a Facebook post.
Police had previously surrounded a house where they believed the suspect was when they learned he was near a Target store in Yakima, the chief said.
There, the suspect asked a woman to borrow her phone and called his mother and “made several incriminating statements, including ‘I killed those people,'” police chief Matt Murray said.
The woman heard the man say he was going to kill himself and called 911, Murray said.
“I listened to that call. It’s quite moving and I have to thank her again because she was very brave in getting us there,” said the chef.
Murray said responding officers found the man near a marijuana store but did not provide information on whether he was inside or outside the business where he allegedly shot himself.
The suspect was carrying “a large amount of ammunition” and a firearm when officers found him, the chief of police said.
Murray told DailyExpertNews Tuesday that the suspect drove into the ARCO/ampm gas station and “tried to enter the lobby,” only to find the doors locked.
“He then walked across the street to the Circle K,” Murray said. “As he walks into the store, he pulls out his gun and there are two people getting food and he shoots them.” Both people died, Murray said.
The suspect then walked out of the store and shot another person, who also died.
Murray said the suspect went back across the street to the ARCO/ampm gas station, fired into a car, and drove off.
“We later learned it was his car and he had shot the window of that car to get in because he had locked his keys in the car,” Murray said.
The motive behind the shooting is still under investigation, but Murray said the attack appeared “highly random”.
“There was no interaction between him and the people,” said the chief. “They just sat there getting food and got surprised by this person who came in and… literally when he opened the door he started shooting these people.”
Justin Bumbalogh, who worked at Elite Towing and Recovery, next to the Circle K, said he was half asleep when he heard gunshots. According to police, the shooting happened around 3:30 a.m. local time.
Bumbalogh said he heard about nine gunshots and remembered a clear gap between the two series of shots.
Police responded shortly after the gunfire, he said.
Seattle FBI office Steve Bernd told DailyExpertNews they are aware of the incident and are in contact with Yakima police in case they call for help.
The chief said the suspect’s family cooperated with police throughout the day.