Four people were killed, including a nine-year-old boy, in a shooting at a commercial building in the suburbs of Los Angeles, United States, late Wednesday afternoon (31).
The case took place in Orange, 19 miles southeast of the center of California’s largest city. Police arrived at the scene around 5:30 p.m. (9:30 p.m. in Brasilia) and exchanged gunfire with the sniper, who was arrested and taken to a hospital in critical condition due to his injuries. He has been identified as Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, 44, from Fullerton, a town about 10 miles away.
The shooting was probably linked to “a commercial and personal relationship that existed between the suspect and all the victims,” Jennifer Amat, spokeswoman for the Orange police force, said at a press conference Thursday. “It appears to be an isolated incident and we think everyone knew each other.”
Police said the nine-year-old probably died in his mother’s arms as she tried to protect him from the shooting. None have yet been identified. The woman was injured but survived and remained hospitalized on Thursday after undergoing emergency treatment.
The victims, who also included a man and two women, were attacked in the offices of Unified Homes, which is a real estate and mobile home dealership, according to the company’s website.
At the site, which covered two floors and a courtyard of the building, authorities recovered several items, including a semi-automatic pistol and a backpack containing pepper spray, handcuffs and ammunition, which police say belong to to the suspect.
During the attack, the sniper locked the compound doors with bicycle locks and police had to force their way to the scene.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said the case was “gruesome and moving.”
Wednesday’s episode was the third gun attack to kill multiple people in the United States alone in March. Eight people were shot and killed by a man at three Atlanta-area massage parlors on March 16. Six days later, ten people were killed after a man opened fire at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado. The suspects in both cases have been arrested.
In the wake of an increase in the number of gun deaths in fighting and assaults and the repetition of scenes of gunshot attacks that kill many people at once, the United States is reigniting the debate on the difficulty access weapons capable of killing dozens of people in less than a minute.
In the first year of the pandemic, the topic had been left in the background, as there were fewer attacks in public – there were two in 2020. But 2021 has already crossed that bar, with three case in March.
Speaking after the supermarket shooting in Colorado (US), President Joe Biden urged lawmakers to adopt stricter controls for large-capacity weapons commonly used in massacres. “It is not and should not be a party question, it is an American question,” the Democrat said at a White House press conference. “We must act.”