PORT ORCHARD, Wash. – A shootout in front of a Walmart in Washington state left two people dead and two sheriff's deputies wounded Sunday afternoon, a sheriff's spokesman said.
One of the dead was a man who shot at deputies, said Scott Wilson of the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office. The other victim was a young woman who died after she was taken to a Tacoma hospital, he said.
The deputies' wounds did not appear life-threatening, Wilson said.
Details were sketchy Sunday evening, but the sheriff's office received a call about a suspicious person at the store in Port Orchard, Wilson said. The man ran and started shooting when three deputies tried to talk to him, he said.
The deputies, including the two men who were wounded, returned fire, Wilson said.
Witness Ray Bourge told KOMO-TV that he saw a man running through the parking lot toward nearby woods, firing his gun back toward the store.
"Right behind him there was an officer chasing him, and he began to open fire," Bourge said.
The officer was about 30 to 40 feet behind the suspect when he started firing, Bourge said.
"Five or six shots were fired. ... I just went and took cover," he said.
Witness Victor Meyers told KOMO-TV that he heard the first shot, then six more in rapid succession.
"I heard one shot, which I thought was a car backfiring, and then several more reported back, which I knew to be gunfire," Meyers said.
He said he saw a female deputy running toward a victim on the ground before he and other witnesses were hustled from the scene.
The man who ran from the deputies died of his wounds in the parking lot, Wilson said.
"In the first five minutes, there was already 12 police cars there and then ambulances came just as fast," witness Zach Mendiola told KING-TV.
Wilson said no other suspects were involved in the incident, which began at about 3:45 p.m. He didn't know whether the woman and the man who were killed knew each other. Those two haven't been identified and the deputies' names haven't been released.
The store was immediately locked down. Customers in the store were being allowed to leave after investigators questioned them, and the store closed for the night, Wilson said.
The investigation "is real basic right now," he said, adding that officers don't know why the man fled and began firing.
"The big question of why is unanswered now," he said.
Port Orchard, the county seat with about 8,250 residents, is about 15 miles west of Seattle across Puget Sound.