According to investigators, a child was among four people who were killed in a shooting at a Southern California office building on Wednesday that injured a fifth victim and killed the shooter. The shooting in Orange, southeast of Los Angeles, was the seventh in the United States in just over two weeks. As officers arrived at the two-story building at 5:30 p.m., shots were being fired, according to Orange Police Lt. Jennifer Amat. Officers opened fire, and the attacker was brought to the hospital, according to Amat.
It was uncertain if the attacker was shot by officers or by himself. Police gave no specifics about the victims other than just the fact that one was a child and that a woman was seriously injured. California Gov. Gavin Newsom called the killings “horrifying and heartbreaking” in his tweet.
“Our hearts are with the families affected by this terrible tragedy tonight,” Newsom said.
Lt. Jennifer Amat did not know what could have caused the attack. She mentioned that the shooting occurred on both floors of the building. A bunch of businesses are in the buildings – including a financial consulting firm, a legal services business, and a phone repair store. After the whole situation started, people gathered outside the building, waiting to hear from loved ones.
“He’s not answering his phone, neither’s my niece,” Paul Tovar said, his brother is the owner of the business located inside the building. “I’m pretty scared and worried … right now I’m just praying really hard.”
Charlie Espinoza was also standing outside the building, telling The Orange County Register that she couldn’t reach his fiancee, who works for a medical billing firm.
Witnesses, who live across the street from the office building, told that they heard three sharp pops that were spread apart, followed by three more. After a brief pause, they heard multiple shots, followed by sirens and more shots.
A Facebook livestream shared by a nearby resident showed police taking a motionless person out of the building and officers helping another person. A wooden fence in Tim Smith’s backyard separates his house from the office parking lot. He was in the back of his house when he heard three gunshots, then three more, and finally four.
“The first words I heard after the shots were fired were ‘Don’t move or I will shoot you,’” Smith, 64, said.
Smith said he heard phrase repeated twice more by a man’s voice and thinks it was a police officer shouting. He did not hear any other voices or shots after that. Tim later peeked over the fence and saw a formation of SWAT officers in the building’s courtyard.
“It saddens me so much,” Tim said. “A senseless loss of life.”
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The killings followed a mass shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, last week, which left ten people dead. A week earlier, eight people were killed at three Atlanta-area spas.
“Enough is enough,” U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Democrat from California, tweeted. “We have to do something about the guns on our streets.”
Orange is about 30 miles from Los Angeles. Its population is about 140,000 inhabitants. According to Lt. Jennifer Amat, the incident was the deadliest in the city since December 1997, when an assault rifle-wielding gunman attacked a California Department of Transportation maintenance yard.
Later, the attacker of the office building was identified. It was a 41-year-old Arturo Reyes Torres, who was working in the building as an equipment technician and had been fired six weeks before. Arturo killed four people and injured several others, including a police officer, before being shot and killed by police.
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