Thursday October 23, 2014

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Suspect in Los Angeles-area shootings that killed 3, injured 4 detained following standoff


Los Angeles Police Department officers investigate the scene of a shooting Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, where one person was killed near the 14400 block of Polk Street in Sylmar, Calif. Describing what they called a major public threat, Los Angeles police said they are seeking clues to three separate shootings in the Northeast San Fernando Valley that left three people dead and four others injured early Sunday morning and appear to be connected. A suspect in the shootings was taken into custody by SWAT officers Sunday night after holing up inside a house in the Sylmar neighborhood for about an hour, Capt. William Hayes said. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Daily News, Dean Musgrove)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - A suspect in a series of shootings that killed three people and four people within the span of an hour Sunday in the northern suburbs of Los Angeles was taken into custody following a standoff, police said.

The suspect was taken into custody by SWAT officers after holing himself in a house for about an hour, Capt. William Hayes said.

He declined to say what led officers to the house or whether any evidence was found inside. Witness had reported seeing two men in a tan- or gold-colored SUV at two of the three crime scenes in the San Fernando Valley area. However, Hayes declined to say whether a second suspect remained at large.

"I can't tell you whether there was a second individual; we're following all clues and leads at this time," he said late Sunday.

Police said the victims appeared to be randomly targeted by the same gunmen because the same type of weapon was used in the morning attacks and the suspect shot at victims from inside a car.

In the first attack, a family of five riding in a car to attend church was struck by gunfire at 5:50 a.m. in San Fernando. The family had pulled over after noticing the suspect driving erratically when they were shot, Sgt. Frank Preciado, a police spokesman, said.

A woman in her 20s was killed, her mother and father were critically wounded and two children sustained minor injuries from either bullet fragments or broken glass, Preciado said.

About 40 minutes later, a man was fatally shot at a park.

Then 15 minutes later and less than 5 miles (8 kilometres) away, a woman in her late 50s who was sitting in a parked car by a church was shot in the head. Preciado said she may have been waiting for someone, but he didn't have more details.

The shootings triggered an intense investigation and prompted the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to step up patrols on the street.

Investigators were looking into whether Sunday's attacks were related to at least two shootings earlier in the week, Preciado said.


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