Tacoma shooting: 4 people killed, police searching for suspect

Police are searching for a suspect after four people were shot and killed Thursday afternoon in Tacoma.

Officers were called to the report of a shooting around 4:30 p.m. in the area of Everett Ave. and E. 42nd St.

Tacoma Police said two women and a man were killed. A fourth person, a man, later died at the hospital.

The shooting happened on the city’s Eastside in the Salishan neighborhood.

Police spokesperson Wendy Haddow said the shooting happened in an alley behind a residence at about 4:24 p.m. and that at least one victim was found in the street in front of the residence.

Authorities were searching for the suspect on the ground and from the air. Police asked the public to avoid the area during the investigation.

As of Friday, no suspect had been arrested or publicly identified.

Crime scene technicians and detectives had blocked off several blocks around the shooting scene and gathered evidence into the night, she said.

It was unclear what led to the shooting. Police identified the victims on Friday as men ages 22 and 19, and women ages 42 and 22.

RELATED: City of Tacoma lays out plan to crack down on crime

There have been 27 homicides in Tacoma this year, Haddow said. The city has a population of about 212,000.

Mayor Victoria Woodards and Councilmember Catherine Ushka released this joint statement following the killings:

"We want to acknowledge the tragic events that occurred late this afternoon and the four lives that were lost. We extend our sympathies to those directly impacted, the Eastside community, and all of Tacoma. While there are not a lot of details available on this incident right now, we reiterated yesterday, that we as a Council, place high value on community safety. We are taking actions to address it. We understand that gun violence can disrupt everyone’s sense of safety as well as result in heartbreaking loss of life. We also commend the work the Police Department has done over the years to ensure that homicide cases like this one are successfully resolved. We know there are impacts to all first responders in these kinds of emergencies, including the members of our fire and police departments that responded to this scene. We know our police will diligently collect the facts of this case. As we learn more, we as a community will find our way through this together."

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.