Four people, including a nine-year-old boy, were killed in a mass shooting at an office complex in Orange, California on Wednesday, March 31. The suspect, 44-year-old Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, has been arrested and is currently in the hospital.
According to Lt. Jennifer Amat, Orange Police Department’s spokeswoman, officers received the call of shots fired around 5:30 p.m. and arrived at the office building minutes later. Bullets were exchanged between the suspect and police. Gonzalez was arrested with a gunshot wound and admitted to the hospital under critical condition the night of the incident. It is unknown if the wound was self inflicted or a result of police gunfire.
The iron gates of the office complex at both the front and back entrance were locked and secured, delaying the officers’ advancement toward the suspect. Gonzalez had sealed the gate using bike cables, before entering the building, gun in hand.
“Those officers had to engage the suspect from outside the premises until bolt cutters could be brought to the scene in order for them to gain entry to the premises,” Todd Spitzer, Orange County District Attorney, said. “In the meantime, a horrific rampage was going on in the offices.”
Police reported that the suspect had been living in an Anaheim motel. The photo released by authorities shows Gonzalez wearing black and gray sunglasses, a baseball hat, and a bandanna, concealing his face as he entered the office building.
On the scene, police found a semiautomatic handgun and a backpack containing pepper spray, handcuffs, and ammunition, which they believe belong to the suspect.
Those killed in the rampage were identified as Luis Tovar, 50; Leticia Solis Guzman, 58; Jenevieve Raygoza, 28, and her brother, Matthew Farias, 9. Upon arriving, police found Blanca Tamayo, the fifth and surviving victim, cradling her son, Farias. The nine-year-old died in his mother’s arms and Tamoyo was transported to the hospital in critical condition due to a gunshot wound.
The police believe that the motive is related to “business and personal relationship[s]” between the suspect and the victims.
“It appears all the adults were connected either by business or a personal relationship, and this was not a random act of violence,” Amat said in an interview with NBC News.
Due to Gonzalez’s subpar condition, exemplified by his reportedly struggling to speak with attorneys, his arraignment has been postponed until his condition improves. A deputy with access to the suspect claims his condition shows progress. Gonzalez is facing four felony counts of murder, one felony count of attempted murder, and two felony counts of the attempted murder of a police officer.
According to CNN reporting and Gun Violence Archive, beginning March 16 with casualties of eight victims from three Atlanta spas, there have been at least 45 mass shootings in the U.S.. A candlelight vigil was held Sunday night to honor the lost victims in Orange County. Loved ones grieved and held photos, while surrounding the flower filled memorial.