BURLINGTON — A 23-year-old man is dead after a Friday morning shooting in Burlington, and his suspected killer remained on the loose as of Friday evening.

Burlington police Sgt. Mike Lumpkin said police were called to the Skagit Big Mini Mart in the 100 block of Burlington Boulevard about 11:24 a.m. to a report of shots fired.

When police arrived, they found the 23-year-old man in a car with injuries consistent with having been shot, Lumpkin said.

He was alive when officers arrived, but died shortly after despite efforts to save his life, Lumpkin said.

“We’re still in the early phases of trying to put this together,” Lumpkin said. “Our detectives are looking at all leads.”

Police had Burlington Boulevard between Fairhaven and Rio Vista avenues shut down for about four hours, and maintained a heavy presence at an apartment complex about a block away from the mini mart as they looked for a suspect, who was last seen running that way.

Police have identified 19-year-old Christian M. Flores of Sedro-Woolley as the suspect. Police believe Flores may have had assistance in fleeing the scene.

Anyone with information about Flores’ whereabouts is asked to stay away from him and call 911. He is presumed to be armed and dangerous.

The Burlington, Mount Vernon and Sedro-Woolley police departments, the State Patrol and the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the scene.

Nearby Burlington-Edison High School and West View Elementary School were placed on lockdown during the investigation and the district had to have alternate plans for transportation for students.

The lockdown kept the high school’s swim team from competing in the season-opening Northwest Conference Relays in Bellingham, and kept the girls’ basketball teams from playing games in Mount Vernon.

The victim, who has yet to be officially identified, was on his way to play football with a childhood friend.

“He was on his way to meet me and never showed up,” said Daniel Castillo.

Castillo learned his friend had been shot when he showed up at the scene and saw his friend’s shoes on a body that was covered on a stretcher.

“He’s one of the best people you’ll ever meet,” said Castillo’s brother Michael Caballero, who came to the scene after his brother called him. “He’s a good kid, a really good kid.”

Within an hour of learning the victim’s identity, friends and family had shown up to support each other, and lit candles for the victim.

“He was the kid you want your friends to hang out with,” Caballero said.

Lumpkin said investigators have no motive for the shooting and are continuing to investigate.

— Reporter Kera Wanielista: 360-416-2141, kwanielista@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kera_SVH, facebook.com/KeraReports

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