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A 9-year-old boy died in the arms of his wounded mother during a mass shooting at a California office complex this week as she tried to save him, authorities said.
Four people, including the child, were killed in the attack that unfolded in Orange Wednesday evening. Authorities have said the suspect, 44-year-old Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, is connected to all the victims by either "business or personal relationships," NBC News reports. He was taken to the hospital after being wounded during the police response.
The injured mother, who was also hospitalized, held her son in her arms after they were both shot, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said during a Thursday press conference.
He said that the mother was "trying to save him during this horrific massacre” but that he "died in his mother's arms.”
While the victims have not been officially named, family members identified them to local outlet KABC-TV as Luis Tovar, 50; his daughter Jenevieve Raygoza, 28; Leticia Solis; and 9-year-old Matthew Farias. Ismeralda Tamayo has been identified as Farias’ mother.
Officials said that the Tamayo worked at Unified Homes, a company that sells mobile homes. Tovar owned the company.
Tamayo and Farias were the first victims shot, according to authorities. They were found by law enforcement in the courtyard of the building complex when they first arrived.
Gonzalez was fired upon by officers who arrived at the scene. It’s unclear if his injuries were self-inflicted or a result of police gunfire. He remains hospitalized in stable but critical condition on Friday, KABC-TV reports.
Tamayo also remains hospitalized in stable but critical condition.
Investigators found a semiautomatic handgun and a backpack filled with pepper spray, handcuffs and ammunition at the office complex, which they believe belonged to the suspect.
Gonzalez is eligible for the death penalty, due to the nature of the shooting, Spitzer said at the press conference. So far, though, Gonzalez has not been officially charged with anything.
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