Apr 1, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Police say Orange gunman knew victims

Police office at a press conference in Orange, California, on April 1.

Police officers at a press conference in Orange, California, on April 1. Photo: Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Orange, California, police said Thursday that the gunman who killed four people — including a 9-year-old boy — and wounded another person at a business complex on Wednesday night knew the victims either through professional or personal relationships, according to AP.

The big picture: The incident in Orange was the third mass shooting in the United States in just over two weeks, following a shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, which killed eight people and another in Boulder, Colorado that ended with 10 people dead.

What we know: Police said the suspect, 44-year-old Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, was also wounded during the shooting and was in critical but stable condition at a local hospital, though it is unclear if his injury was self-inflicted or if he was shot by police.

  • Police said Gonzalez had locked the gates to the business complex from the inside prior to the shooting, forcing responding officers to engage him from outside the building.
  • The fifth victim, a woman, was taken to an area hospital and is in critical but stable condition, according to AP.

What they're saying: "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 spokesperson Lt. Jennifer Amat said in a news conference Thursday, according to CNN.

  • "This was not a random act of violence," she added.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) tweeted Wednesday, "Horrifying and heartbreaking. Our hearts are with the families impacted by this terrible tragedy tonight."

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