The suspect who killed four people, including a 9-year-old boy, at a business complex in Orange, California, in the US on Wednesday knew the victims, said police.
According to CNN, Orange Police spokesperson Lieutenant Jennifer Amat said in a news conference on Thursday, “The preliminary motive is believed to be related to a business and personal relationship which existed between the suspect and all of the victims.” She also added, “This was not a random act of violence.“
Amat did not identify the victims, saying the notifications of next of kin had not been completed. Among the dead were two women, a man and a 9-year-old boy, she said.The boy, who was found in the complex courtyard, is believed to be the son of one of the victims who worked at the business, Amat said.A fifth victim, a woman, was found with the boy. She was taken to a local hospital, where she is in critical but stable condition, Amat said.
Police identified the suspect as 44-year-old Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez. He is also at a local hospital in critical but stable condition, Amat said.
Police first responded to reports of shots fired at about 5:30 p.m. local time, Amat said. When the initial officers arrived, shots were actively being fired inside the business complex, as reported by CNN.
The officers were at first unable to enter the building’s courtyard because its gates on both the north and south sides “had been locked from the inside,” Amat said, “using a bicycle-type cable lock.”Two officers engaged the suspect, she said, and an “officer-involved shooting” occurred.
Police were then able to enter the courtyard and found the suspect, who was injured and took him into custody. Police had earlier said it was unclear whether his injury was self-inflicted.In the courtyard police also found the boy and the adult woman who survived.”It appears that a little boy died in his mother’s arms as she was trying to save him during this horrific massacre,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said at Thursday’s news conference.Officers found three other victims elsewhere in the complex, Amat said. One woman was upstairs on an outdoor landing, a man was found inside one office building, and another woman was found in a separate office building as reported by CNN.
The suites where some victims were found belonged to a business identified as Unified Homes, Amat said, a real estate business specializing in mobile homes.Investigators recovered a semi-automatic handgun and a backpack containing pepper spray, handcuffs and ammunition, which authorities believe belong to the suspect.
Orange is located about 30 miles south of Los Angeles. The complex where the shooting occurred houses multiple businesses including Farmer’s Insurance, Calco Financial and Miller Counseling.
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