Multiple people were shot — including one fatally — near two polling stations about 25 miles east of Los Angeles on Tuesday afternoon, according to police and local news reports.
The shooting occurred in Azusa, a city of about 45,000 nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. The Azusa Police Department initially said it was responding to a “critical incident” and advised residents to avoid the area and “shelter in place.”
Azusa police said on Twitter the incident began at 2:02 p.m. local time “with reports of shots fired” near Memorial Park, where a polling place is located. The officers “found multiple shooting victims” and “came under fire,” police said.
Police confirmed that one person is dead and two others are hospitalized in critical condition. A fourth victim was described as being “down” near the victim’s residence.
Police initially described the situation as an active shooting, but said it “has transitioned from active to barricade/containment” with the gunman apparently holed up inside of a house.
During a press conference, Azusa Police Captain Steve Hunt, the department’s acting chief, said the gunman was armed with a rifle “with rapid fire capabilities,” but it was unclear whether it was an automatic or semi-automatic weapon.
“The scene is still not stable,” Hunt said.
He added that there was “one suspect and possibly a second suspect.” One of the suspects is reportedly female, armed with a rifle. “We’ve had some conflicting reports where there is a second suspect, a male suspect, dressed in tactical gear,” he said.
Two polling places, located at an elementary school and in a city park, were impacted by the shooting, according to the Los Angeles County Clerk’s office.
When asked whether the shooting was connected to the election, Hunt responded that it was “too early to tell what the motive is,” but added that the attack “appears to be concentrated on the residential side, not at the polling station.”
One voter told CNN that she heard the gunshots.
“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,” she said. “As of right now, they just have us in the voting room and are trying to keep us calm.”
This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.