Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, who had previously worked as a commercial truck driver, was named as the man accused of shooting four people to death, including a 9-year-old boy, at an office building the City of Orange in California.
It was the nation’s latest mass shooting, coming on the heels of tragedies in Georgia and in Colorado.
Police initially said there were “multiple victims” at the business complex in the City of Orange, but later revealed that a man, two women, and the boy were fatally shot. Graphic video emerged from the scene. Some of the victims were found inside a mobile home business called Unified Homes.
Police released this photo of the gunman, who was charged with four counts of murder:
NBC Los Angeles reported that two people were taken to an area hospital. The shooting occurred at a business complex at 202 W. Lincoln in the City of Orange on March 31, 2021. Journalist Michele Gile wrote on Twitter that Gonzalez is accused of shooting five people overall. She named Gonzalez and said he was 44 and from Fullerton, California.
Police have not identified all of the victims. However, they were named in a GoFundMe account set up by one of the victims’ daughters. On April 2, 2021, police wrote, “The identities have been confirmed for three of the four victims killed in Wednesdays tragic incident at 202 W Lincoln. Those deceased include 28 year-old Jenevieve Raygoza, 50 year-old Luis Tovar, and 9 year-old Matthew Farias. Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and our community who have all been impacted.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Say That Gonzalez Knew the Victims & May Have Laid in Wait
The latest mass shooting 4 people including a child were killed in Orange, CA when suspect opened fire on a office building.
— Skyleigh😷PASS #HR1 (@Sky_Lee_1) April 1, 2021
Police gave the suspect’s name as Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, and Orange police Lt. Jennifer Amat said in a news conference that Gonzalez knew the victims, although it wasn’t clear how.
“The preliminary motive is believed to be related to a business and personal relationship which existed between the suspect and all of the victims,” Amat said. “This was not a random act of violence.”
She also confirmed that four people were dead.
The shooter is in stable condition, authorities said.
In a news conference, authorities said they were looking into whether Gonzalez laid in wait for the victims, by chaining off a gate. Orange County District Attorney Public Administrator Todd Spitzer described the attack as “targeted.” He also said Gonzalez is eligible for the death penalty.
Police released this update,
On March 31, 2021 at approximately 5:30 p.m., the Orange Police Department received multiple reports of shots fired in the area of 200 West Lincoln in the City of Orange. Officers arrived on scene and determined shots were actively being fired in the business complex at 202 W. Lincoln. Officers immediately approached the building, however were unable to enter the courtyard due to the fact the gates had been locked from the inside.
It appears the suspect used a bicycle type cable lock to secure the gates from the inside on both the north and south sides of the courtyard. Two officers engaged the suspect from the outside of the gates and an officer involved shooting occurred.Officers were able to force entry through the gates and entered the courtyard.
Upon entry, officers located a suspect who was injured and taken into custody.
The preliminary motive is believed to be related to a business and personal relationship which existed between the suspect and the victims. It appears all of the adults had a personal relationship with one another and this was not a random act of violence. The child is believed to be the son of one of the victims who worked at the business.
Reference the 9-1-1 calls and officer response time: We received five initial 9-1-1 calls. The first caller to OPD Dispatch was at 5:34:51 in which a male was reported to be shooting into a building across the street. The first Orange Police Officer on scene was at 5:36 p.m., which was under two minutes. Shots were reported to have been fired by officers within minutes of their arrival.
Regarding the suspect: Investigators have established the suspect arrived at the location in a rental car which has been located in the parking lot of 202 W. Lincoln Ave. The suspect is believed to have been living out of a motel in Anaheim. We have obtained video footage from inside the business location which shows the suspect inside.
The video is not available for release at this time, however a still image is available. The Orange County Crime Lab is currently at the location processing the scene.
2. Gonzalez Was Shot at the Scene; Authorities Said the Child Died ‘in His Mother’s Arms’
At Least 4 Killed in Shooting in City of Orange California, police have "captured the suspect alive" pic.twitter.com/dpFsdzEdzQ
— ✨Sk Boz✨ (@skkboz) April 1, 2021
Gonzalez was also taken to the hospital and was shot, although it’s not clear if that was by police or himself. However, authorities did say there was an officer-involved shooting. Police said he was taken to the hospital.
Authorities described a heartbreaking scene in which the child died in his mother’s arms. It’s believed the mother worked at the business.
“It appears a little boy died in his mother’s arms as she was trying to save him during this horrific massacre,” Spitzer said.
“Today at 5:30pm, the Orange Police Department responded to a call of shots fired at 202 W. Lincoln Ave. Officers arrived as shots were being fired and located multiple victims at the scene including fatalities. An officer involved shooting occurred. The situation has been stabilized and there is no threat to the public. More details to follow,” the City of Orange wrote on its Facebook page.
Amat with the Orange Police Department said in a news conference that an officer involved shooting occurred. She said that no officers were injured. “It is my understanding that there was an officer involved shooting that occurred,” she repeated. She wasn’t sure how many shots were fired. She didn’t have the conditions of the suspect or victims.
The police update said,
Additionally, officers located two victims in the courtyard area, one of which was a 9 year old boy who was deceased. An adult female who had also been shot was found with the boy. Officers immediately rendered medical aid to her. That female victim and the suspect were transported to a local hospital where they both remain in critical but stable condition.
Officers quickly began a systematic search of the business complex and located three deceased victims. One female adult was located upstairs on an outdoor landing. One adult male was located inside of one office suite. One adult female was located inside of a separate suite. The suites where those victims were located has been identified as the ‘Unified Homes’ business.
3. Graphic Video Emerged From the Scene; Gonzalez Had a Criminal History
According to NBC Los Angeles, Gonzales “was charged in an assault case six years ago.”
“Records from the Orange County Superior Court show Aminadab Gonzalez-Gaxiola faced four misdemeanor charges of child abuse and endangerment, assault with a deadly weapon other than a gun, dissuading a witness, and battery for an incident that occurred on March 31, 2015.”
All charges were dismissed after he completed a probationary sentence, the television station reported.
Video posted to Facebook showed the law enforcement response to the scene, and people being removed on stretchers. Moe Reyes streamed the video live on Facebook but later removed the video.
“This is…getting to be so dangerous these days. It’s scary,” a person commented on the thread.
“Heard those shots really hard. Live by glassel and lincoln.”
“The chopper was so low over my backyard I could see the pilot.”
Distraught family members gathered at the scene.
4. The Mass Shooting Was Described as a ‘Moving Situation’ With ‘Several Areas Involved’
4 dead, including one child, after mass shooting inside this office building on Lincoln near Glassell in Orange. About 5:30pm PD showed-up during shooting, opened fire. Suspect & 1 victim in hospital injured. Conditions, identities & motive unknown, per Orange PD. @KNX1070 pic.twitter.com/Mb9nfVBcVU
— Emily Valdez, KNX 1070 (@EmilyValdezKNX) April 1, 2021
Amat described the scene as “an actively evolving situation… It was a moving situation, so there were several areas involved.”
Authorities said they found two victims in the courtyard, one on an upstairs landing and two inside an office.
Amat also said that authorities believe the suspect brought with him a semi-automatic handgun, pepper spray, ammunition, and handcuffs.
The police update continued,
Investigators recovered several items at the scene including a semi-automatic handgun and a backpack containing pepper spray, handcuffs and ammunition which we believe belonged to the suspect.
Our initial response included approximately 20 officers and was followed by approximately 30 investigators along with FBI and ATF. We are also working with the Orange County District Attorney’s office who responded to handle the Officer Involved Shooting portion of the incident. Our investigation is still ongoing at the location and the surrounding streets remain closed at this time.
We are continuing to learn more information as the day progresses. At this time, we are ensuring next of kin have been notified prior to releasing the identity of the victims. We can confirm the deceased are one male adult, two female adults, and one 9 year-old boy. One female adult remains at the hospital as well as the suspect. The suspect has been identified as 44 year old Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez with a last known address in Fullerton.
5. Officials Expressed Sadness
Horrifying and heartbreaking. Our hearts are with the families impacted by this terrible tragedy tonight. https://t.co/nw3On2RJH2
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) April 1, 2021
On Twitter, California Governor Gavin Newsom expressed condolences.
“Horrifying and heartbreaking. Our hearts are with the families impacted by this terrible tragedy tonight,” he wrote.
Rep. Katie Porter issued a statement, according to NBC LA: “I’m deeply saddened by reports of a mass shooting in Orange County, and I’m continuing to keep victims and their loved ones in my thoughts as we continue to learn more. My team and I will continue to monitor the situation closely.”