Suspect in Orange shooting is charged with murder as 4 victims are identified
The suspect in this week’s shooting at an Orange business that killed four people, including a 9-year-old boy, has been charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder, the Orange County district attorney’s office said Friday.
The charges against Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, 44, who is hospitalized and in critical condition, were announced as authorities identified the four people killed Wednesday at Unified Homes, a manufactured homes business.
The Orange Police Department said the victims were Genevieve Raygoza, 28; Luis Tovar, 50; Matthew Farias, 9; and Leticia Solis Guzman, 58.
Another woman remains hospitalized in critical condition after suffering multiple gunshot wounds, according to a family member.
Gonzalez has been charged with four counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and two counts of attempted murder of a police officer, all felonies, the district attorney’s office said.
Police say suspect Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez had a “business and personal relationship” with the victims
He has also been charged with four felony enhancements of the personal discharge of a firearm causing death, and one felony enhancement each for the personal discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury, premeditation, the personal use of a firearm and the personal discharge of a firearm. Prosecutors are also alleging the special circumstance of multiple murders.
Gonzalez, who was living in an Anaheim motel, was hospitalized Wednesday after exchanging gunfire with two police officers in the courtyard of the office complex where the shooting occurred, according to authorities.
Police said he locked the gates to the complex with bicycle cables before opening fire on the victims.
Investigators are working to determine the motive for a mass shooting inside an Orange business complex that left four people dead.
Calling it a “horrific massacre,” Orange County Dist. Atty. Todd Spitzer said Thursday that the severity of the crimes meant his office could seek the death penalty.
“It’s a horrible, horrible tragedy,“ Spitzer said, “that Mr. Gonzalez made a decision to use deadly force to deal with issues he was dealing with in his life. So he will suffer the consequences.”
Gonzalez is in critical but stable condition at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange. Speaking from the hospital via livestream Friday afternoon, defense attorney Ken Morrison, with the Orange County public defender’s office, said Gonzalez was “present but he is not conscious.”
Gonzalez’s arraignment was postponed until Monday, although Morrison said it may have to be postponed again.
“I fear we might have to continue doing this day-to-day for some time,” Morrison said. “That is not a medical assessment that I’m making. It’s just my judgment based upon my observations today.”
Gonzalez was remanded to custody of the Sheriff’s Department, and no bail was set.
Officers arrived at the office complex in the 200 block of Lincoln Avenue at about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, minutes after receiving reports of shooting. They encountered gunfire and shot through the locked gates, wounding the gunman, Orange police Lt. Jennifer Amat said. They used bolt cutters to enter the complex.
Officers found two victims in the courtyard — the boy and a woman who was alive and taken to a hospital. Spitzer said it appeared that the boy died in the arms of a woman who “was trying to save him.”
Police said Gonzalez had a “business and personal relationship” with the victims and that the attack was not random.
“Our hearts are shattered into a million pieces as the community mourns the loss of four innocent lives, including a young boy, as a result of the horrific events that unfolded Wednesday evening and we pray for the recovery of the sole survivor,” Spitzer said in a statement Friday. “The taking of the life of another human being is the most serious of crimes and the slaughter of multiple people while they were essentially locked in a shooting gallery is nothing short of terrifying.
“The residents of Orange County can rest assured that the district attorney’s office is taking every possible step to ensure that every aspect of this case and the subsequent officer-involved shooting is thoroughly reviewed and that justice will be served for each and every victim,” he added.
In a statement Friday, Fermin Leal, a spokesperson for the Santa Ana Unified School District, said Matthew was a third-grader at Hoover Elementary School.
The school district was “heartbroken by this senseless act of violence” that took Matthew’s life, the statement read. Officials encouraged anyone within the district who needed support to call its mental health help line at (657) 290-9527.
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