Authorities are searching for a suspect who allegedly opened fire at a Richland, Washington, grocery store Monday—leaving one dead and another injured, the Richland Police Department announced.
Richland Police Cmdr. Chris Lee said the unnamed suspect opened fire inside the Fred Meyer store at around 11 a.m., then fled the scene. The shooting killed a store employee and sent another worker to the hospital, who remains in critical condition.
The department said authorities were notified of yelling and possible gunshots in the store at 11:03 a.m. and arrived a minute later, according to a statement. Lee said the suspect talked to the now-deceased employee prior to the incident.
Authorities believe the suspect is armed with a handgun and are unsure if he has escaped via foot, Lee said. The department warned that the suspect is “dangerous.”
“The suspect has been described as a middle aged white male. Photos have been distributed. He is believed to be armed and dangerous,” the statement said.
The police department released a photograph of the suspect pulling a shopping cart inside the store via Facebook. Lee said authorities are searching for the suspect and have asked the public to avoid the area.
Lee said during the press briefing that it is currently unknown if the suspect had a specific intent behind the shooting or a particular target.
“We don’t know what the cause was,” Lee said. “We don’t know if it was specifically intentional or targeted toward any one person.”
The statement asked for anyone with information to call the Non-Emergency contact 509-628-033. (RELATED: 3 Houston Cops Shot, Suspect Barricaded In Home)
Eric Renner, president of the union representing Fred Meyer employees UFCW 1439, released a statement saying no one should have to fear for their safety and will unite together against violence, according to King 5.
“No one should have to worry about their safety when going into a store to get groceries for their family,” Renner said. “We stand together with everyone in our community against this violence.”
The FBI, ATF and state patrol are conducting an investigation into the incident, CNN reported.