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Deputy among 3 people shot at Virginia shopping center

January 3, 2021 GMT

STERLING, Va. (AP) — Three people, including a sheriff’s deputy, were shot Saturday at a northern Virginia shopping center by a suspected shoplifter, authorities said.

The shooting occurred at the Dulles Crossing Plaza in Sterling, Virginia.

All three victims were transported to a hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries, according to Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Kraig Troxell.

The suspect was initially confronted by two civilian Walmart loss prevention officers who believed he was stealing, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. As two deputies responded to take the man into custody, the suspect began to struggle with them, pulled out a gun and fired multiple rounds, striking one deputy and the two store employees.

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The suspect fled in a stolen vehicle but was later taken into custody, authorities said Saturday evening.

Officials said an earlier armed bank robbery at the shopping center does not appear to have been related to the shooting.