One person was killed and two others were wounded Tuesday when an assailant armed with a military-style rifle opened fire in a residential area of Azusa, forcing authorities to secure the neighborhood and shut down nearby polling places.
After a standoff at a home that lasted several hours, police announced that the gunman had been found dead in the residence. Officials said they didn’t know whether the man — who was described as heavily armed — was killed by police during a short but furious gun battle or from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“We’re in the process of figuring out why this happened,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. John Corina said.
By Tuesday afternoon, Azusa police said it was too early to determine a motive. At least one victim had been on his way to vote, a law enforcement source told The Times. Sheriff’s Capt. Steven Katz said the violence was not related to the election and the location near a polling place was merely a coincidence, though he warned that all of the information was preliminary.
Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Ron Singleton said that two people were airlifted to a hospital. The third victim, a man in his 70s, was dead at the scene, he said.
The shooting began about 2 p.m., when gunfire was reported in the 300 block of North Orange Avenue.
Responding officers were tending to the victims when they were met with a hail of gunfire by a gunman armed with an assault rifle with “a rapid-fire capability,” acting Azusa Police Chief Steve Hunt said. The shooter immediately fired at least 20 shots at police, a law enforcement source said.