One man was murdered Tuesday and two women were critically wounded by a gunman in an Azusa neighborhood near polling stations and schools before a wild gunfight with police that ended with his death.
At least six officers — five from Azusa and one from Irwindale — initially responded to the shooting reports around 2 p.m. at North Orange Avenue and West Fifth Street and came under fire while tending to the wounded victims, said acting Azusa Police Chief Steve Hunt. He said there was no information that the victims were juveniles.
No officers were wounded in the exchange of gunfire, Hunt said.
The victims were two women and a man, according to sheriff’s homicide Lt. John Corin. The man died and the two women were listed in critical condition, with one wounded in the face and one shot in the body.
SWAT officers located the deceased suspect nearly four hours later at a house in the 500 block of Fourth Street, Corina said. It was unclear if the gunman was killed in the shootout with police or took his own life, Corina said.
After confirming the gunman was dead, officers continued to search the area for any other possible victims, Corina said. Investigators were still trying to determine the motive for the attack.
The suspect was initially described as a female armed with a rapid-fire semi-automatic or automatic assault rifle. But Corina later said there was no evidence that a female or anyone else was involved in the shooting. He said there were initially a lot of rumors about suspects.
Two people were evacuated from a home behind the house where the suspect was found, he said. They heard the shots and sheltered in place until police arrived but did not see the shooting.
Police advised residents in the area to shelter in place until further notice.
The shooting scene was near Slauson Middle School and Mountain View Elementary school, both of which were placed on lockdown. Also locked down were two polling stations — one at Dalton Elementary School and the other in Memorial Park. By late afternoon, the Dalton voting station had been reopened, but Memorial Park remained closed.
The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s Office advised voters to visit other polling places to cast a provisional ballot.
A three-vehicle crash was reportedly part of the investigation, and Corina said investigators were trying to determine whether it was caused when the drivers heard the shots.
Sheriff’s deputies were assisting Azusa police in the criminal investigation and investigating the officer-involved shooting, Hunt said. The shooting did not appear to be connected to the election, the polling places or the schools, Corina said.
— City News Service
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