Police hunted for clues Thursday into the nation’s latest mass shooting: Four people, including a child, killed when gunfire erupted in a Southern California office building.
The shooting Wednesday evening occurred in Orange, California, about 30 miles south of Los Angeles, around 5:30 p.m. local time, the Orange Police Department said.
A suspect and a woman were injured with gunshot wounds during the shooting, Lt. Jen Amat said. Both were hospitalized and in critical condition. It was unclear whether the suspect’s gunshot wounds were self-inflicted or from police, Amat said.
Details about what happened were scarce. The shooting comes just a week after a gunman in Boulder, Colorado, killed 10 people at a supermarket. The week before that, a gunman in the Atlanta-area killed 8 people, most women of Asian descent, at three spas.
Here’s what we know:
What happened during the shooting?
The Orange Police Department said in a Facebook post that officers responded to a call of shots fired around 5:30 p.m. “Officers arrived as shots were being fired and located multiple victims at the scene including fatalities. An officer involved shooting occurred,” the post said.
Amat said the incident happened on the second floor of the building. She said there was no ongoing threat to the public.
Cody Lev, who lives across the street from the office building, told the Orange County Register he heard three loud pops that were spaced out, then three more. There was silence, then he heard numerous shots, followed by sirens and then more shots.
Uvaldo Madrigal told the Los Angeles Times he was next door at his auto shop when the shots began.
“They sounded very low, so I didn’t think they were gunshots,” he told the newspaper.
He said he then heard about 10 shots and saw multiple police officers with their guns drawn and police cars in the middle of the street. Police later told him and his employees to leave the area. He saw two people being loaded into ambulances on stretchers. “I don’t know what condition they were in,” he told the Times. “Nothing like this has ever happened around here.”
Who are the victims?
Police have not identified the victims of the shooting, which included a child, as of Thursday morning.
Photos appear to show the building housed an insurance company, a real estate company and a property management company, among other businesses.
Paul Tovar told KTLA-TV that his brother owns a business there, Unified Homes, a mobile home broker. “He’s not answering his phone, neither’s my niece,” Tovar said. “I’m pretty scared and worried.”
Who is the suspect?
Police have not identified the suspect. Amat said one gun was recovered from the scene.
How have officials reacted?
Rep. Katie Porter, whose district includes Orange, said she was “deeply saddened” by reports of the shooting.
“I’m continuing to keep victims and their loved ones in my thoughts as we continue to learn more. My team and I will continue to monitor the situation closely,” she tweeted.
Gov. Gavin Newsom called the shooting “horrifying and heartbreaking.” “Our hearts are with the families impacted by this terrible tragedy tonight,” he tweeted.
Is this the only mass shooting since Boulder?
In between the Boulder shooting and the shooting in Orange on Wednesday, there have been 14 mass shootings in the U.S., according to the Gun Violence Archive.
The archive defines mass shooting as four or more people shot or killed, not including the shooter. The archive does not exclude shootings based on the circumstances or where they occurred, such as including those not only in public places.
On Wednesday, two people were also killed and three were injured in a shooting in Washington, D.C. The Washington Post reported the shooting stemmed from a dispute between two groups and that police were still searching for a suspect or suspects.
Amat said there hadn’t been an “incident like this in the city of Orange since 1997,” referencing when a gunman armed with an assault rifle attacked a California Department of Transportation maintenance yard. The suspect, an equipment operator who had been fired six weeks earlier, killed four people and wounded others, including a police officer, before police killed him.
Contributing: The Associated Press