EVERETT — Police surrounded an AM/PM Mini Mart here after multiple shots were fired at about 10:45 a.m. today.
Initial reports to police were that somebody had been shot at the store, located at 4030 Rucker Ave., but it wasn’t immediately clear whether anyone had been injured. Traffic was routed away from the area, triggering congestion elsewhere downtown.
A witness said much of the gunplay occurred outside the store.
Dustin Virgil with Wesco Auto Body said he saw a man leave the store and shoot at least three rounds into a red four-door vehicle that was parked outside. One shot was fired at close range through the car’s back window, he said.
“There could have been somebody in the back of the car,” Virgil said.
The gunman then picked up what Virgil believed was the expended bullet shell casings, put them in his pocket, and went back inside the store.
The red car that reportedly was shot apparently left the scene before police arrived.
Police were responding as if the gunman remained inside. At least some of the people who were inside the store when the shooting began sought refuge in nearby homes. They came out to speak with police just before noon.
Officials at nearby Sequoia High School and Jackson Elementary School were advised to go into lockdown as a safety precaution, said Gay Campbell, spokeswoman for the Everett School District. Cascade High School and Evergreen Middle School were just put on lockdown.
There were four shots fired, said Fontelle Jones, owner of Great Yarns at 4023 Rucker Ave, across the street from the mini mart.
From her store, she said she could see officers prone in the street, and taking other forms of cover, their guns drawn. Jones said she had one customer in her store during the shooting and they are staying away from the windows.
Jenniffer Fowlds with Express Personnel Services said she heard shots fired, looked outside and saw a man in the convenience store parking lot, fumbling with something on the ground.
She said a woman ran out of the store yelling that someone had been shot. Customers getting gasoline at the pumps outside ran away.
Monica Olson, manager of a Quiznos sandwich shop located near the shooting scene, said she was taking a cigarette break around 10:45 a.m. when she heard one gunshot. Then, Olson saw people running out of the AM/PM store.
“The police are here. Im sure everything will be fine,” she said around 11:15 a.m.
“We dont usually see anything like this going on,” Olson said.
Traffic headed west on 41st Street was backed up as far as the I-5 overpass.
City of Everett spokeswoman Kate Reardon said Everett Transit buses that normally travel near the AM/PM were being re-routed and that the changes would be made available later today.
“We have police and fire responding, and the other city departments are aware of the situation,” Reardon said. “Any work that may have been scheduled for that area by city workers will be delayed.”