FIRST ON KIRO: Police respond to Marysville Kmart shooting threat

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A man made threats to shoot everyone at the K-mart in Marysville, scaring staff and customers inside and prompting a large police response Wednesday night.

The incident began shortly after 6 p.m. at the store at 9623 State Ave.

Employees rushed most customers out the front door, other were locked down with employees in a back room.

Amanda Turner hurried to the store, her cousin works there. Turns out it was her cousin who was threatened by the man. “He said he had a pistol and he was going to shoot her and everyone in the store,” said Turner. She said it started when a security announcement was made, that seemed to set the man off. Turner said the suspect look at her cousin and said, “’Oh you’re going to call security’ and she looked over at him and he made the threat.”

She walked away, told a manager, and called police.

Police swarmed the store, searching for the suspect. They even used a robot with a camera to try to see if he was still inside.

He was described as a white man with a black bandana on his head and a grey shirt, about 6 feet tall.

Police said shortly after 7 p.m. the suspect was no longer in the store and was seen on surveillance footage exiting before officers arrived.

Ethel Dempewolf said she passed the man on the way in to the store. “He was a big guy, had scarf on his head,” described Dempewolf. She was actually in the bathroom when the store went into lockdown.  “They said it was an emergency. I had to leave the bathroom and go in the back room. They were going to lock everybody down,” said Dempewolf

She was with 12 employees in a backroom. Dempewolf’s description of what happened Wednesday night, “Some idiot had threatened to kill everyone in the store.”

No weapon was seen by anyone in store, it was only implied by suspect, police said.

But investigators weren’t taking any chances.

Detectives were searching to identify the suspect Wednesday night. They got his picture of the surveillance video. “This is something we have to pursue and try to identify the individual that was involved. You just can’t go around making threats to shoot people in our community, “said Commander Rob Lamoureux of the Marysville Police Department.

The man is now wanted for assault and harassment.