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Police: Man opens fire near school east of Seattle, dies in gunfight

From Greg Morrison, CNN
updated 4:44 AM EDT, Sun September 25, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: A witness says "scared" players "huddled under the bleachers" in the gunfight
  • A man driving in Issaquah, Washington, gets "out with a couple of rifles," police say
  • He walks down the street and begins shooting near a local high school's field
  • The man is "confronted" by police and eventually dies in a gunfight with authorities

(CNN) -- Officials in a town east of Seattle will try and piece together Sunday why a 51-year-old man went on a shooting spree near a high school athletic field before he was shot dead by police.

No one else was hurt in the Saturday morning incident in Issaquah, a town about 17 miles east of Seattle.

The man, who is yet to be identified by the medical examiner's office, abandoned his car in the middle of the road in the south edge of the city's downtown and got out with two rifles in hand, authorities said.

He pointed them "menacingly at pedestrians as he walked," said King County Sheriff's Office Sgt. John Urquhart.

When he reached the Clark Elementary School a few blocks away, he tried to break into a car in the school's parking lot -- and fired his first shot, authorities said.

He fired more shots as he continued on to the school property and tried to get into the cab of a backhoe parked there, they said.

By this time, officers converged on the scene and the man went into a "prone position" on a road, Urquhart said.

He fired at the arriving officers, who in turn fired back, authorities said.

He was shot more than once and died at the scene, Urquhart said.

The elementary school in next door to a middle school and a high school. A football game was in progress at the high school at the time of the shooting.

In a video posted on YouTube, and taken from outside Issaquah High School, dozens of gunshots can be heard nearby.

Chase Hawkins was at the game and said many of the attendants ran for cover.

"They were huddled under the bleachers, staying close together and scared out of their minds," Hawkins told CNN affiliate KING. "To have something like this happen on a beautiful Saturday, it's shocking."

The officers involved in the shooting were placed on routine administrative leave as the investigation continues.

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