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Suspect held in deadly California shooting spree that killed 3 people

Tuesday, 26 August 2014 - 9:47am IST | Place: Los Angeles (US) | Agency: PTI

A suspect in a series of shootings that killed three people and injured four others within the span of an hour in the Los Angeles area has been taken into custody.

The man, whose name has not been released, was detained by SWAT officers Sunday night after holing up inside a house in the Sylmar neighborhood for about an hour, Captain William Hayes said. "You have three egregious incidents ... Horrendous incidents where family members were killed and seriously injured so we wanted to resolve this as quickly as possible," Hayes said.

Witnesses had reported seeing two men in a tan- or gold-colored SUV at two of the three shooting scenes in the San Fernando Valley area.  However, Hayes declined to say whether a second suspect remained at large or what led investigators to the house.

Sgt Frank Preciado, a police spokesman, said a car at the house matched witnesses' description of the suspect vehicle.

Police said the victims appeared to be randomly targeted by the same gunmen because the same type of weapon was used in the morning attacks and the suspect fired from inside a car.

In the first attack, a family of five was struck by gunfire at 5:50 am In San Fernando as they drove to church. The family had pulled over after noticing the suspect driving erratically when they were shot, Preciado said.

A woman in her 20s was killed, her mother and father were critically wounded and two children sustained minor injuries from either bullet fragments or broken glass, Preciado said. About 40 minutes later, a man was fatally shot at a Sylmar park. Then 15 minutes later and less than 5 miles (8 kilometers) away, a woman in her late 50s was shot in the head as she sat in a parked car by a church.

The shootings triggered an intense investigation and prompted the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to step up street patrols.

Investigators were looking into whether Sunday's attacks were related to at least two shootings earlier in the week, Preciado said.

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