Orange gunman locked gates of office complex before killing 4 Four dead including a 9-year-old boy in shooting at office complex in LA suburb
Officers weree filmed dragging bloodied suspect from two-story building
Cops say gunman who locked gates of office complex before killing Police say he knew victims
Shooter identified as mass shooting suspect Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez
Gonzalez was taken to a hospital with a gunshot wound and was listed in critical condition Wednesday night
The gunman who killed four people, including a 9-year-old boy, at an Orange office park locked the gates to the complex with bike cable locks and was armed with a weapon as well as pepper spray and handcuffs, police said Thursday.
The complex is home to about a dozen businesses, including an insurance office, a marriage therapist, a speech and language pathologist, a phone repair shop and several property management companies.
The gunman first opened fire, but she said the incident began inside one of the complex’s suites before moving to a courtyard area.
Authorities said the shooting occurred inside a business, Unified Homes, and the gunman and the victims were connected through business and personal ties. Wednesday’s attack was not random, they said.
Lt. Jennifer Amat, a spokeswoman for the Orange Police Department, said officers received a call about 5:30 p.m. of shots fired and responded to a business at 202 W. Lincoln Ave. in Orange. The beige, two-story office complex at the address contains a number of small businesses.
The officers encountered gunfire when they arrived and opened fire, Lt. Amat said.
The shooter was taken to a hospital with a gunshot wound and was listed in critical condition Wednesday night.
The other A woman who was also injured by gunfire, was listed in critical condition Wednesday night. A firearm was recovered at the scene.
Officers received a call at about 5:30 p.m. of shots fired at the business in the 200 block of West Lincoln Avenue. The officers encountered gunfire when they arrived and opened fire, Orange Police Lt. Jennifer Amat said.
Because the gates were locked, police officers responding to the scene fired through them and wounded the gunman, Amat said. Police had to use bolt cutters to get into the complex.
Officers found two victims in the courtyard, one of whom was the 9-year-old boy, and a woman who had also been shot and was taken to a hospital, where she remains in critical condition. The 9-year-old is believed to be the son of one of the victims who worked at the business.
Calling it a “horrific massacre,” Orange County Dist. Atty. Todd Spitzer said Thursday it appeared that the boy died in the arms of a woman who “was trying to save him.”
Police at the scene found three additional bodies, including that of one woman on an upstairs outdoor landing, one man inside an office, and one woman inside a separate office.
Police recovered a semiautomatic handgun and a backpack with pepper spray, handcuffs and ammunition, “which we believe belonged to the suspect,” Amat said Thursday.
The victims’ names have not been released because their next of kin have not all been notified, she said. The suspect is Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, a 44-year-old Fullerton man who police said had a “business and personal relationship” with the victims.
Spitzer also noted that the crimes are subject to the death penalty. He has not made a decision about whether to seek death in this case.
“It is a horrible, horrible tragedy that Mr. Gonzalez made a decision to use deadly force to deal with issues he was dealing with in his life. So he will suffer and face the consequences,” Spitzer said.
Two police officers discharged their weapons at the scene, said Kimberly Edds, a spokeswoman for the Orange County district’s attorney’s office, which investigates officer-involved shootings. Both were wearing body cameras.
The Orange Police Department will forward their reports to the district attorney’s office at the end of the investigation into the suspect and victims, Edds said, which could lead charges being filed against the suspect as soon as Thursday.
The district attorney’s investigation into the shooting could take “several months, up to a year,” she said. No officers were injured at the scene.
The incident — the third mass shooting in the United States in two weeks — stunned the quiet north Orange neighborhood.
The Orange violence came a week after a gunman opened fire at a Boulder, Colo., supermarket and two weeks after a massacre at three Atlanta-area spas.
“Horrifying and heartbreaking. Our hearts are with the families impacted by this terrible tragedy,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said of the Orange shooting Wednesday night.
Arianna Barrios, a City Council member in Orange, said the community was trying to get some sense of what had happened inside the office building on Wednesday.
“The new details issued by our police department this morning are horrifying and sickening,” she said. “I am grateful to our Orange Police officers for the quick response and believe their actions in all likelihood prevented additional lives from being lost. Orange is a strong, resilient community. The victims, their families and all who have been touched by this monstrous act of violence can depend on us to stand with them in this terrible time.”
A local resident said she heard a “bunch of popping,” noting that she heard about 10 shots.
Rep. Katie Porter [D-Irvine], wrote on Twitter: “I’m deeply saddened by reports of a mass shooting in Orange County, and I’m continuing to keep victims and their loved ones in my thoughts as we continue to learn more.” Porter’s district includes parts of Orange.