A shooting near a polling station in California has left one person dead and three more injured.
According to the L.A. Times, the shooting occurred near the polling center in Azusa. At least one suspect has been described as being a “heavily armed male.” He opened fire, injuring at least one person who was heading into the polling station to cast their vote for president.
“Officers arrived to find a man with a rifle. The gunman immediately fired at least 20 shots at police, said the source. Under a hail of gunfire, officers took cover and returned shots at the man, who retreated into a home in the 500 block of Fourth Street, said the source, who requested anonymity because the case was ongoing. No officers were injured in the shooting.”
The polling station shooting caused police to evacuate the area just after 2 p.m. local time. The gunman, who was wearing a white shirt and black pants, was able to fire off several shots before retreating. A man who lived in the residential area said that some of the victims appeared to have been neighbors. He said that police told him to stay inside his home.
The Azusa Union School District issued a lockdown for two schools in the area. Slauson Middle and Mountain View Elementary schools were placed on lockdown around 2:15 p.m.
Since many polling stations are located inside of schools, this shooting caused some delays.
“Los Angeles County Registrar Dean Logan said the shooting was affecting two polling stations at Memorial Park, a preschool, and Dalton Elementary school,” reported the L.A. Times.
— Dylan Flores (@SenBAnalyst) November 9, 2016
According to KTLA, none of the victims have been identified. All four victims were rushed to nearby hospitals, two were transported by helicopter. While one of the victims died from his or her injuries, it’s unknown how severe the other injuries are.
— KTLA (@KTLA) November 9, 2016
Once police arrived on the scene, the gunman exchanged fire with them. According to a fire official, the Azusa Police Department officers involved in the shooting were not injured in the incident.
Those who were inside the polling center at the time of the shooting were frightened, forced to stay inside on lockdown until police secured the area.
“Two voters who were inside the Memorial Park North Recreation Center when the shooting occurred spoke to the cable news channel on the condition of anonymity. One male voter says he was inside when he heard a bunch of shots ring out and people from outside starting to run in before officials locked the doors,” reports KTLA.
A woman at the polling station recalled what she experienced during this traumatic shooting.
“At first, I thought it was construction but people came running into the room saying they see a guy with a bulletproof vest and a white shirt. As of right now, they just have us in the voting room and are trying to keep us calm,” she said. There were an estimated 30 people inside the polling station at the time of the shooting.
At this time, a motive for the shooting is unknown. Police have not confirmed whether or not they have a suspect in custody, whether they believe he acted alone, or whether or not he was injured in the shooting. More details are expected to be released as the night goes on.
Police have reopened the polling center according to L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan.