LOS ANGELES: The man accused of going on a shooting rampage in a suburban Los Angeles real estate office last week, killing three adults and a child, has been formally charged with four counts of murder, prosecutors said on Monday (Apr 5).
Arraignment of the suspect, Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, 44, who was himself wounded by gunfire before being arrested, was postponed until Tuesday due to his medical condition, according to a spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney's Office, Kimberly Edds.
He remained hospitalised in critical but stable condition, according to a press release from the prosecutor's office.
He is accused of opening fire with a semi-automatic pistol last Wednesday inside the office suite of a mobile home reality company in the city of Orange, south of Los Angeles, after first chaining shut the access gates of the business complex.
Police said officers arriving on the scene exchanged gunshots with the suspect through the gates and had to use bolt-cutters to gain entry before taking the accused gunman into custody.
They found four victims fatally shot, including a 9-year-old boy who was struck by gunfire in the arms of his wounded mother as she tried in vain to shield him, authorities said. The mother survived but was hospitalised in critical condition.
Officials have offered no explanation as to a motive but said the gunman had both personal and business connections to all of the adult victims.
Gaxiola, who had been living in a motel room in nearby Anaheim before the shooting, has been charged with four counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and two counts of attempted murder of a police officer.
He also faces felony enhancements for use of a firearm, alleged premeditation and multiple killings, making him eligible for the death penalty if convicted, though Governor Gavin Newsom has placed a moratorium on executions in California.