• Friday, Dec 09, 2022
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

Mother wounded trying to shield 9-year-old son slain in California mass shooting

  • Published at 04:44 am April 2nd, 2021
Police officers respond to the scene of a shooting in Orange, California, U.S.
Police officers respond to the scene of a shooting in Orange, California, U.S. March 31, 202 Reuters

Police said they obtained surveillance video camera footage of the suspect at the crime scene

One of four people shot dead in a suburban Los Angeles real estate office was a 9-year-old boy struck by gunfire in the arms of his wounded mother as she tried in vain to shield him from the attack, officials said on Thursday.

Authorities also disclosed that the suspected gunman in Wednesday's violence, who was himself wounded before he was taken into custody, knew all of his victims and had a family relationship with at least one of them.

The bloodshed inside a two-story office complex in the city of Orange, about 30 miles (48 km) southeast of downtown Los Angeles, marked the third deadly mass shooting in the United States in a month.

Ten people were killed at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, on March 22, and eight others died in a series of attacks on three Atlanta-area spas on March 16. The accused gunman in each of those rampages was likewise arrested.

But the suspect's connection with the dead in the California attack appeared to set it apart from the shootings in Georgia and Colorado, where the victims were believed to have been killed at random.

"The preliminary motive is believed to be related to a business and personal relationship which existed between the suspect and all of the victims," Orange Police Department Lieutenant Jennifer Amat told a news conference.

The identities of the victims were being withheld pending notification of relatives, police said. The surviving victim, a woman badly wounded while cradling her son in her arms as he was fatally shot, worked at the business, authorities said.

She remained hospitalized in critical but stable condition on Thursday. Three other adults - two women and a man - were killed.

The suspect, identified as Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, 44, a resident of the nearby city of Fullerton, also was listed in critical condition. He may be arraigned on murder charges from his hospital bed on Friday, said Kimberly Edds, a spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney's office.

He is accused of opening fire in the office of a mobile home realty company after first using bicycle-style locks to seal off two sets of gates to the courtyard in the center of the office building, blocking entrance to the complex from the outside.

Police officers, encountering gunfire as they arrived on the scene, were forced to use bolt cutters to open the gates and directly confront the suspect. Two officers initially exchanged gunfire with the gunman from outside the gates.

"In the meantime, a horrific rampage was going on in offices and people were dying or were being shot," District Attorney Todd Spitzer said.

The suspect was arrested once police entered and found him injured, Amat said. 

Edds said investigators, who recovered a semi-automatic handgun from the scene, did not yet know whether the gunshot he suffered was self-inflicted or from a bullet fired by police.

Authorities said they also recovered a backpack containing pepper spray, handcuffs and ammunition that they believe belonged to the suspect, who had been living in a motel room in Anaheim before Wednesday.

Police said they obtained surveillance video camera footage of the suspect at the crime scene. 

A still image from that video was released showing the gunman wearing a ball cap, dark glasses and a black bandanna, striding through an office while brandishing a pistol in one hand. He also appeared to have a backpack slung over one shoulder. 

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail