When officers arrived there, they found a 16-year-old girl with unspecified injuries not believed to be life-threatening but no suspect.
The incident, which culminated in a vehicle park at a Walmart in the city of Tumwater, began unfolding at around 5pm local time, when police responded to a call about an alleged drunk driver.
Police investigate a shooting spree a Walmart in Tumwater, Washington. There, Wohl said police believe the suspect shot the 16-year-old girl and stole a auto.
Tumwater Police said the suspect tried to carjack two cars in the Walmart parking lot at 5900 Littlerock Rd SW.
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Witnesses say one of the armed civilians grabbed a medical kit and rendered aid to the man who was shot by the suspect in the carjacking attempt.
"The suspect tried to carjack a auto, and when the individual who owned the vehicle did not cooperate, he ended up shooting that auto driver", said Laura Wohl with the Tumwater Police Department.
Megan Chadwick from Eugene, Oregon, was with her husband and four children inside the Walmart when the gunman entered.
Darren Gossler of Elma told the TNT that he was in the store when the shooting started. Indeed, local media reported that the fire department alerted them to a "mass casualty" incident.
"We were at the checkout and there is a flood of people running shouting, 'Shooter!"
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She said she heard more pops from outside. "This (suspect) could have taken out more people, wounded or killed", said witness Brian Adams.
Some of them directed vehicles away from the parking lot of the store, which was ringed with yellow tape.
A woman told The Olympian newspaper she heard "pop, pop, pop" coming from across the store.
Wohl said no other suspects were being sought.
He said a civilian with a gun confronted the gunman as he neared the civilian's family.
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He told The Telegraph: "I thought these issues had been resolved hours ago, but at the last minute an element has been changed in a way that is unacceptable".