Witnesses described seeing a man walking backward through the mall, firing a rifle. At least six people were injured, one critically, as shoppers and store clerks scrambled for cover.
Tacoma Police spokesman Mark Fulghum said the suspect was a young man, but he had no other details or possible motives.
The gunman came out of the Sam Goody music store without a gun and surrendered to the SWAT team, Fulghum said. He said police were interviewing the victims and the three hostages — two men and a woman — to determine what happened during the nearly four hours he was inside.
While the suspect was in the music store, employee Joe Hudson was able to pick up the phone call from The Associated Press and say he and others had been taken hostage. He said little more but could be heard telling others that he was talking to the AP.