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Suspect in California shooting knew victims: police

Police said Thursday that the suspect in a shooting at a California business complex the day before previously knew his victims, including the four who died.

Orange Police Department spokesperson Lt. Jennifer Amat said in a news conference that the Wednesday incident “was not a random act of violence.” 

"The preliminary motive is believed to be related to a business and personal relationship which existed between the suspect and all of the victims," she told reporters, according to CNN

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A 9-year-old boy was among those killed in the shooting in the city of Orange, according to police, and a fifth victim was transported to the hospital, along with the suspected shooter. Both were in critical but stable condition as of Thursday, CNN reported. 

Amat told reporters that the boy who was killed was the son of a victim who worked at the office building, with Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer adding that the child was being protected by one of the women when he was killed, according to NBC News

Police have identified the suspect as 44-year-old Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, but have not yet released the names of the victims, as authorities said they are still working to contact next of kin. 

Police first responded to a call of gunshots being fired about 5:30 p.m. at an office building.

Amat told reporters that the shooting was still active when officers arrived at the scene, adding that an “officer-involved” shooting took place at the building after officers arrived. 

California elected officials took to social media to express their condolences for the victims and their families. 

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California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin Newsom Caitlyn Jenner in new campaign video slams California for being No. 1 in regulations, taxes and 'people exiting' California gubernatorial candidate under investigation for 1,000 lb. bear campaign mascot Newsom proposes transitional kindergarten for all 4-year-olds in California MORE (D) on Wednesday evening tweeted that the shooting was “horrifying and heartbreaking.” 

“Our hearts are with the families impacted by this terrible tragedy tonight,” he added. 

Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), whose district includes the city of Orange, tweeted Wednesday that she was “continuing to keep victims and their loved ones in my thoughts as we continue to learn more.”

The shooting Wednesday was just the latest in a series of mass shootings in recent weeks, including attacks on three Atlanta-area massage parlors that left eight people dead, and a shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colo., that killed 10 people.

Amat told reporters that Wednesday’s attack was the deadliest shooting in the city of Orange since 1997, when a gunman killed four people and wounded others, including a police officer, at a California Department of Transportation maintenance yard.