Emergency operators have confirmed to local media there has been a shooting at a Walmart in Tumwater involving multiple victims.
Shots were fired at the Walmart around 5pm Sunday local time, a Thurston County spokesman said.
Laura Wohl, a spokeswoman for the Tumwater Police Department, said a man who had been shot was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Ms Wohl said he was shot while the armed suspect tried to steal his vehicle.
A person at the scene with his own weapon shot the suspect outside Walmart.
Ms Wohl said it is not clear whether the shooter ever entered the store, despite witnesses’ reports he had.
It also was not clear whether shots were fired inside the store, she said.
It is possible customers heard a gun being fired outside.
The shooting began following reports of a drunken driver in the area of Israel Road and Tyee Drive.
People reported a driver was driving in the wrong direction and police confirmed it was a stolen car.
Deedee Sun, a local reporter, tweeted: “Fire Dept is calling it a “mass casualty incident” and witnesses tell me they heard shots inside and outside.
“Don’t know how many people shot yet but at LEAST two, according to dispatch.”
She added: “I just talked with someone who was there.
“She said everyone was running, fleeing the Walmart.
“Then they heard shooting and dropped to the ground outside. She says at least 10 shots fired.”
One witness said: “I hid behind a car separated from my mom and was told to stay down and be calm, I started crying.”
Another witness who was at the store when the shooting started tweeted: “I was in the dairy section.
“Heard about 5 or 6 pops. Ran out a side emergency exit and attempted to run to my car in the parking lot but heard 4 more pops in the lot.
“Caught a quick glimpse of a male with what appeared to be a handgun.
“Ducked under some cars and ran to Costco.”
Additional reporting by Caitlin Doherty.