Cops: Suspect Locked Gates Before Mass Shooting

One victim, a 9-year-old boy, was found in his mother's arms in California
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2021 2:18 PM CDT
Cops: Suspect Locked Gates Before Mass Shooting
Officials work outside the scene of a shooting, Thursday, April 1, 2021 in Orange, Calif. The gunman who killed four people and wounded a fifth at an office complex knew all the victims either through business or personally, Southern California police said Thursday.   (Paul Bersebach/The Orange County Register via AP)

Wrenching details have emerged in Wednesday's Southern California shooting that left four people dead, including a child. Police on Thursday identified the suspect as 44-year-old Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, and they say he knew his victims, reports USA Today. The shootings took place at an office building in Orange. Coverage:

  • Not random: "It appears all of the adults were connected either by business or a personal relationship," says Lt. Jen Amat of the Orange Police Department. "This was not a random act of violence." Police did not speculate about a motive, however.
  • Victims: A man, two women, and a 9-year-old boy were shot to death, and they have not been named, reports CBS News. Another woman was shot and critically injured, and the boy is believed to be her son.

  • In her arms: The boy was found in the arms of the injured woman in an outside courtyard. “It appears that a little boy died in his mother's arms as she was trying to save him during this horrific massacre,” says Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “I'm here to tell you that we're going to do everything in our power in the Orange County District Attorney's office to get justice for these families."
  • Locked gates: When police responded to a call of shots fired about 5:30pm, they discovered that two gates to the courtyard were locked from the inside with bicycle-style locks. That prevented officers from entering immediately, though they opened fire on the suspect from outside a gate before bolt cutters arrived.
  • Suspect: Gonzalez was critically wounded and remains hospitalized, though it's unclear whether he shot himself or was shot by officers, reports the AP.
(More mass shootings stories.)

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