4 victims of Southern California mass shooting identified, as suspect charged with murder
Authorities have identified the four victims who died in a mass shooting at an office complex in Southern California this week.
Matthew Farias, 9, was the youngest killed in the shooting at United Homes in Orange Wednesday evening. Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer had said the child “died in his mother’s arms as she was trying to save him during this horrific massacre.” He is believed to be the son of one of the shooting victims, police said.
Jenevieve Raygoza, 28; Leticia Solis Guzman, 58; and Luis Tovar, 50, were also killed in what authorities are calling a targeted attack. Tovar was the owner of United Homes, which specializes in the sales of mobile and manufactured homes, according to Los Angeles ABC station KABC.
A female victim who was transported to the hospital in critical condition also has not yet been identified. She remains in critical but stable condition, police said Friday.
The suspect in the shooting, Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, 44, was charged Friday with four counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder, among other charges. He is eligible for the death penalty, the Orange County District Attorney’s office said.
The suspect was shot in the head and hand during the incident and remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition, authorities said.
Gonzalez, of Fullerton, California, was scheduled to be arraigned from his hospital bed Friday afternoon, though that has been continued to Monday, depending on his medical condition.
“I fear that we might have to continue doing this day-to-day for some time,” his attorney, Kenneth Morrison, said during the hearing, noting that he would need to make a determination if Gonzalez is “conscious and alert.”
“He’s not in a condition to make a knowing and voluntary decision about anything regarding his case, because of his medical condition,” Morrison told ABC News after Friday’s hearing.
The court ordered that Gonzalez be remanded to custody of the sheriff’s department. No bail was set.
The shooting centered around the office of Unified Homes, police said. Officials said the attack appears to be an isolated incident and the suspect knew and had business or personal relationships with all of the victims.
Shots were reported fired around 5:30 p.m. local time, when the suspect entered the courtyard of the office building and started “shooting into the windows,” a law enforcement source told ABC News.
The suspect locked the gates to the business’ courtyard with a bicycle cable-type lock, initially preventing police from entering, authorities said. According to police, the shooter opened fire on two Orange Police Department officers, causing them to return fire. Police are investigating whether the suspect suffered a self-inflicted wound or was shot by police. The officers were unharmed.
Officers used bolt cutters to cut the locks and enter the courtyard. They located multiple victims and the suspect, who was taken into custody and hospitalized, authorities said.
Investigators also retrieved a semi-automatic weapon at the scene and a backpack with pepper spray, handcuffs and ammunition, which they believe belonged to the suspect, police said.
Morrison cautioned against additional details of the case being released at this time.
“Horrible tragedies like this pose the greatest test of our system of justice, and whether the constitution of due process, with protections and fair trial rights afforded to all of us, will be strictly adhered to,” he told ABC News. “Investigative details must be guarded so that this matter is not tried in the news media, but in a court of law. We all need to proceed carefully.”
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is also investigating the officer-involved shooting. Any relevant body-worn camera footage will be released once the investigation is complete, the office said.
“The taking of the life of another human being is the most serious of crimes and the slaughter of multiple people while they were essentially locked in a shooting gallery is nothing short of terrifying,” Spitzer said in a statement. “The residents of Orange County can rest assured that the District Attorney’s Office is taking every possible step to ensure that every aspect of this case and the subsequent officer-involved shooting is thoroughly reviewed and that justice will be served for each and every victim.”
ABC News’ Marlene Lenthang and William Mansell contributed to this report.
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