4, Including Child, Dead in California Mass Shooting

Suspected shooter is in critical condition
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2021 10:54 PM CDT
Updated Apr 1, 2021 6:43 AM CDT
4 Dead in California Mass Shooting
Police officers work in an office building after a shooting in Orange, Calif., Wednesday, March 31, 2021.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Four people, one of them a child, were killed Wednesday in a shooting at a California office complex. A fifth victim was critically injured. Police responded to the two-story complex in Orange, which holds multiple small businesses, around 5:30pm after a report of gunshots. They were fired upon when they arrived and returned fire, the Los Angeles Times reports. Lt. Jennifer Amat with the Orange Police Department says the suspected shooter was hospitalized in critical condition, but it's not clear whether he was shot by police or had a self-inflicted wound, reports KTLA. A firearm was reportedly recovered at the scene. The Times notes that the mass shooting in "usually quiet" Orange is at least the third mass shooting in the US in two weeks, pointing to one on March 16 in Atlanta that left eight dead, and one on March 22 in Boulder, Colo., which ended in 10 fatalities.

CNN—which defines a mass shooting as one that leaves four or more wounded or dead—puts that number even higher, listing 20 that have taken place since the Atlanta shootings. The spate of mass shootings comes after the number had dropped during the coronavirus pandemic to its lowest level in nearly 10 years. "We haven't had an incident like this in the city of Orange since 1997," Lt. Jennifer Amat tells the outlet. NBC News notes that is the year when a California Department of Transportation worker who'd been fired for stealing fatally gunned down four other employees in a DOT maintenance yard. Reacting to the news in Orange, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statement calling the shooting "horrifying and heartbreaking," while Democratic California Rep. Katie Porter said she was "deeply saddened." (More California stories.)

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