I honestly don’t usually weigh in on stuff like this but…
1.) I live in Skagit County (where Burlington is located).
2.) It’s my local mall and I was in the area earlier in the day.
I heard about it last night when my cousin’s wife Facebooked us about an hour after it happened. We’re one town south of there and on the southern edge of that town so we wouldn’t have heard any ambulances or police cars. When Mom told me about the Facebook mess, I turned on the TV and they reported that the Burlington-Edison High School football game was being evacuated and then my phone started buzzing with an alert from the community college that the campus apartments were being locked down. The college cancelled all classes today which I think is kind of excessive, given that the mall is 3 miles away and it’s highly unlikely that the shooter would be on campus when there are woods near the mall where they could hide.
People here are in shock because Burlington (and the town where I live) are small towns where this kind of stuff never happens. I was at Fred Meyer today, which is across the street from the mall, and there is still a lot of police tape, road blocks, and there’s a police SUV patrolling the parking lot. There were cars in the parking lot but I think they were all police detectives and cars of people who hadn’t been able to get them last night because it was an active crime scene. South Burlington Blvd., the street where the mall is located, is where most of the box stores like Costco and Home Depot are as well as an outlet mall that draws people from all over the area and even a few from across the border in British Columbia. If they wanted to pick a place with a lot of people, they definitely succeeded.
There are some people on Twitter making stupid comments about how they’re looking for a Hispanic male but it was probably a Muslim terrorist; and also how “Allahu akbar” apparently sounds a lot like “como estas?”. I’m trying not to flip my spit at them because seriously… PEOPLE DIED LAST NIGHT!!!! I can also say that it’s *HIGHLY* unlikely that the shooter was of Middle Eastern extraction but it’s totally possible that they were Hispanic because we have a pretty big Hispanic community up here. (It’s an agricultural area so we have a number of migrant workers who have settled here and a lot of churches here have Spanish ministries, including mine.)
So… if y’all could please keep those affected by the shootings as well as Skagit County in your prayers, I’d greatly appreciate it. If you want reliable details on what happened and what the latest news on it is, the websites for Seattle news stations are here, here, and here.
**UPDATE** A suspect has been arrested. Details here.