The man accused of killing four people, including a 9-year-old boy, when he allegedly opened fire at a business complex in Orange, California, was charged Friday with four counts of felony murder.
The shooting took place Wednesday evening at offices for Unified Homes, which sells mobile homes.
A woman was found dead on an upstairs outdoor landing, police said. A man was found in an office building and another woman was found in a separate office building. Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said at a news conference Thursday that the child was being protected by one of the women when he was killed.
A fifth person, a woman, was shot and taken to the hospital in critical condition.
The Orange County Police Department identified three of the people killed as Jenevieve Raygoza, 28; Luis Tovar, 50; and Matthew Farias, 9.
The suspect, Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, 44, suffered gunshot wounds after allegedly opening fire on two Orange police officers. He was hospitalized in critical condition, according to police.
In addition to murder, Gonzalez was charged with one felony count of attempted murder, two felony counts of attempted murder of a police officer, one felony enhancement of premeditation, and numerous firearm charges.
“Our hearts are shattered into a million pieces as the community mourns the loss of four innocent lives, including a young boy, as a result of the horrific events that unfolded Wednesday evening and we pray for the recovery of the sole survivor,” said Spitzer in a statement.
Police arrived at the business complex at around 5:30 p.m. Spitzer said Thursday that officers were delayed in reaching the suspect because the wrought iron gates at the back and front of the complex were locked and secured.
He said police “had to engage the suspect from outside the premises until bolt cutters could be brought to the scene.”
“In the meantime, a horrific rampage was going on in the offices,” the district attorney said.
Authorities said the suspect knew all of the adult victims. The child is believed to be the son of a victim who worked at the business.
Preliminary information suggests that the motive is believed to be related to a “business and personal relationship” with the victims and suspect, according to police Lt. Jennifer Amat.
A semiautomatic handgun and a backpack containing pepper spray, handcuffs and ammunition was found at the scene, Amat said. It’s believed that the items belonged to the suspect.
Gonzalez is scheduled to be arraigned Friday afternoon, according to the district attorney’s office. Spitzer said Thursday that the suspect is eligible for the death penalty, calling the incident a special circumstances case with multiple victims.