SAN FRANCISCO - Two women were killed and a man was wounded on Friday before a suspect covered in blood was arrested at a shopping centre in a crowded San Francisco neighbourhood that is home to police headquarters and several tech companies, authorities said.
Investigators were trying to determine if the shooting was connected to a botched robbery.
Responding officers encountered the suspect outside the San Francisco Giftcenter
The man, whose name was not released, opened fire at officers while retreating into a restaurant, Suhr said. The man kept shooting until he apparently ran out of ammunition and surrendered, Suhr said.
Officers did not return fire because the sidewalks were crowded with shoppers and residents.
The suspect was treated at a hospital for unknown injuries.
SWAT officers swept the building, but police said there were no outstanding suspects.
"We believe from video in an adjacent store that there was one suspect. We believe that it is the suspect we have in custody," Suhr said.
The man arrested had been in that area before, according to witnesses.
After the arrest, officers went inside the shopping centre and found the two women dead in the lobby. Their names were not immediately available. A witness said at least one of the women worked at a jewelry store inside the building.
Another man with unknown injuries was taken to a hospital in stable condition.
The shopping centre is just blocks from the Hall of Justice, which is the home of San Francisco Superior Court, a jail and police headquarters. Several tech companies, including online game maker Zynga, are also in the neighbourhood.
Officers were interviewing witnesses who ducked for cover when the shooting began.
"Somebody was crying or yelling for help. Then I saw the SWAT. There was a dozen of them. They told us to lock ourselves in," Veronica Sirois, who was shopping at the gift centre, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I saw blood on the way out and a pair of bodies."
AP Video Journalist Haven Daley contributed.