California shooting leaves 4 dead, including a child
Four people were killed and another is in critical condition after a shooting in Orange, California. The suspect is in the hospital with a gunshot wound.
The gunman who is accused of killing four people and injuring a fifth at an office complex in Orange, California, was identified by authorities on Thursday as 44-year-old Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez.
Gonzalez, who is from Fullerton, reportedly knew his victims, which included a 9-year-old boy.
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Orange Police said his motive may have involved personal or business relationships and Lt. Jennifer Amat noted the shooting was “not a random act of violence.”
However, she added that it could potentially take weeks to ascertain the relationship Gonzalez had with the victims.
Gonzalez was wounded as officers responded to the scene on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. PT and was later transported to a local hospital.
In a Facebook post, the Orange Police Department said “an officer involved shooting” had occurred.
Gonzalez and a woman found cradling the boy who died were both in “critical but stable condition.”
Gonzalez had been staying at a motel in the nearby city of Anaheim and used a car to drive to the two-story office building on Lincoln Avenue.
Upon arrival, Gonzalez chained the gates to the building, forcing officers to engage with him from the outside.
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He was caught on security video wearing a bandana over his face and carrying a semiautomatic handgun and a backpack that contained pepper spray, handcuffs and ammunition.
The target was Unified Homes, a mobile home brokerage business, and victims were found inside offices on the building’s second floor and on an outdoor landing.
If convicted, Gonzalez would be eligible for the death penalty, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer told reporters on Thursday.
Police Lt. Jennifer Amat talks during a news conference at the Orange Police Department headquarters in Orange, Calif., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A child was among four people killed Wednesday in a shooting at a Southern California office building that left a fifth victim wounded and the gunman critically injured, police said. (AP Photo/Stefanie Dazio)
In 2015, Gonzalez was charged in Orange County with cruelty to a child and other counts, according to the Associated Press and NBC Los Angeles.
Speaking to Lauren Gold, a spokeswoman for the city of Anaheim, the AP reported Friday that he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery, served one day in jail and that all other counts were dismissed. The conviction was expunged in 2017.
It is not clear if the child was his.
NBC Los Angeles reported that other court filings showed Gonzalez had been cited for traffic violations in both 2014 and 2015 and that one of the cases indicated that he had been working as a commercial truck driver.
Spitzer said that the police are looking into whether or not the 9-year-old boy — believed to be a child of one of the employees — was being abused before the fatal shooting.
“We know during the pandemic that child abuse and elder abuse were underreported significantly because individuals in those frameworks were staying at home,” Spitzer told reporters. “In this case, we have a child who is deceased, and I want to know, and I want to take into consideration, whether there were any issues of child abuse in the past because that may or may not be relevant to the particular case.”
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CBS Los Angeles said a woman who claimed to be one of the family members of the victims said Gonzalez had been married to an agent who left the business.
Fox News’ Dom Calicchio and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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