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Suspect wounded in shootout with police at shopping center

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  • An investigator looks over a bullet damaged car following reports of shots fired near a Wal-Mart store in Wilkes-Barre

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. » A man who was randomly firing a semi-automatic rifle in the parking lot of a northeastern Pennsylvania shopping center on Saturday provoked a shootout with police that left him with two bullet wounds but did not injure anyone else, state police said.

State police Capt. James Degnan said police responded at around 12:30 p.m. to multiple 911 calls about the gunfire, which struck some vehicles. The man shot at local police when they arrived and they returned the fire. Multiple rounds were exchanged, he said.

The suspect, who Degnan said was not carrying identification and whose identity had not yet been confirmed, was wounded in the abdomen and thigh. He was undergoing surgery at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre as of late afternoon.

A woman who was with the suspect was being questioned by state police in an attempt to learn what prompted the gunfire. Degnan said he was unsure whether the woman is related to the man, but that police do not consider her a suspect.

Businesses, including a Wal-Mart that anchors the shopping center, were locked down during the incident.

Tina Wagner, an assistant manager at Wal-Mart, said there no interaction between the shooter and people in the store.

"We kept all our associates and customers safe," she said.

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