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Washington state police on manhunt after multiple shots fired from woods

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:41 AM EDT, Mon September 3, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A man tells police he was shot in the leg in a town north of Seattle
  • A SWAT team responding to the scene comes under fire, and its vehicle is hit
  • "There was someone in the woods shooting at either vehicles or people," police say
  • Roads have been closed as authorities hunt for the suspect

(CNN) -- A shooter who fired at vehicles and individuals Sunday from woods in northern Washington state remains at large, as law enforcement ordered residents to stay in their homes and others to stay away as they hunted for the suspect.

Authorities got a call shortly after 1:30 p.m. PT (4:30 p.m. ET) Sunday from a man who said he'd been shot in the leg near his home in Arlington, a community of about 18,000 people roughly 50 miles north of Seattle.

The wounded man told law enforcement, who arrived within about 10 minutes, that he had been hearing gunshots for about 10 minutes in the "wooded, largely rural area," according to Lt. Steve Dittoe of the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.

"Immediately the officers ... recognized that there was someone in the woods shooting at either vehicles or people," said Dittoe.

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A SWAT team was dispatched to the area and soon came under fire, according to the lieutenant. He said that he did not know how many rounds had been fired, beyond saying an armored personnel vehicle was hit in what he described as "a lot of shooting this afternoon -- at us."

Parts of Jim Creek Road, where the shootings took place, have been closed off to traffic. Meanwhile, those who live in the immediate vicinity are being urged to not leave their homes, Dittoe said.

The lone person shot suffered a non-life-threatening injury and has been transported from the scene.

No suspect has been identified, with the sheriff's spokesman saying there's no reason yet to "tie the shooter to any residence along this road."

"I have no information as to why someone would be doing this, at this point," Dittoe added when asked about the shooter's motive.

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Law enforcement officers from multiple jurisdictions converged on the area, searching the woods and combing the neighborhood in an effort to "make sure that we get this neighborhood safe before we leave," the sheriff's lieutenant said.

By late Sunday afternoon, Dittoe said that "we believe we have the area contained" where the threat exists, though they have yet to track down the suspect.

"We are going to stay out here until we are sure that this community is safe and that we have dealt with anyone out here who has a firearm and was shooting at people," he said.

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