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Five killed in US apartment shooting

April 22, 2013 17:14 IST

Five people, including a woman, were killed in a shootout, apparently sparked by a dispute, at a Washington state apartment complex, police said on Monday.

Officers responding to an emergency call Sunday night at the apartments in Federal Way, about 32 kilometres south of Seattle, encountered a chaotic scene, with bullets flying.

"When officers arrived there were still shots being fired," said Federal Way police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock.

They found two injured men on the ground in a parking lot. One of the men reached for a gun as police moved in to assist the two, she said.

At that point, officers opened fire. The suspect died but police said it wasn't immediately clear if it was from their gunfire, Fox News reported.

The other man on the ground and a third man in the parking lot were found dead.

In a search of the complex, police found a fourth man dead in one apartment and a slain woman in another unit. Schrock said police were trying to determine if the woman was accidentally hit by gunfire.

A total of eight officers fired their weapons, Schrock said.  All have been placed on administrative leave, per standard policy, as the investigation continues.

A law enforcement source said that it appears the shooting may have been a result of a fight that broke out in the parking lot of the apartment complex.

"We're gonna continue to go door to door in hopes that we can find some additional witnesses, and hopefully we won't be finding any more victims." Schrock said.  "We still don't have any idea what started this disturbance tonight."

After police flooded the area and carried out searches, authorities said they did not think another shooter was on the loose or that there was an immediate threat to the public.

There were no reports of any officers being injured, and the names of the five people who were killed were not immediately available.

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