A 44-year-old man suspected of opening fire inside a Southern California office building locked gates to the property’s entrance before the attack that left four people dead, including a 9-year-old boy.
A fifth victim and the suspected shooter, identified by police Thursday as 44-year-old Aminadab Galaxio-Gonzales, of Fullerton, remained hospitalized. The victims all had personal and business connections with the suspect, but authorities did not provide more details at a Thursday news conference.
“This was not a random act of violence,” Orange Police Lt. Jennifer Amat said Thursday. “We believe everyone knew each other, whether through a business or personal relationship.”
Police withheld the identities of the dead but said one was a 9-year-old boy. The others were a man and two women. The wounded victim was only identified as a woman.
It was not immediately clear whether the suspected shooter was struck by gunfire from officers or his wounds were self-inflicted.
A semi-automatic handgun, pepper spray, handcuffs and ammunition were found in a backpack at the scene in Orange, police said. Investigators also provided chilling details about what officers, who opened fire on the shooter, encountered when they arrived at the scene in the 200 block of West Lincoln Avenue around 5:30 p.m. as shots were being fired.
Gates to the property and been chained with a bicycle locked to prevent officers from entering, police said. Officers used a bolt cutter to break the locks as they rushed toward the gunfire.
Police remain at the scene of a mass shooting that left four people dead. Mekahlo Medina reports for Today in LA on Thursday April 1, 2021.
Alec Torres, who owns a business at the complex, said the shooter likely was familiar with the property.
“I believe the shooter was familiar with the building,” Torres said. “He closed the front gate to the entrance, which would not allow anybody to leave.”
A woman and 9-year-old boy were found in the courtyard. The boy, believed to be the woman’s son, was dead, with District Attorney Todd Spitzer saying he died in his mother’s arms.
Other victims were found in office suites. Amat said the shooting happened on both levels of the building.
Signs outside indicated a handful of businesses are located there — including an insurance office, a financial consulting firm, a legal services business and a phone repair store.
The violence was the third U.S. mass shooting in just over two weeks.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom in a tweet called the killings “horrifying and heartbreaking.”
“Our hearts are with the families impacted by this terrible tragedy tonight,” he said.
The killings followed a mass shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, last week that left 10 dead. A week before that, six Asian women were among eight people killed at three Atlanta-area spas.
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