Advertisement

Gunman arrested after 12-hour shooting spree kills 4 in California

Shooting spree suspect in custody after four killed in California
ABOVE: Shooting spree suspect in custody after four killed in California

A man fatally shot his father, brother and two other people Thursday during a 12-hour rampage across Los Angeles’ sprawling San¬†Fernando¬†Valley, eluding a manhunt until he was arrested after gunning down a bus passenger, authorities said.

Police said they did not know what motivated Gerry Dean Zaragoza to launch the attacks in neighbourhoods dotting the vast, largely suburban valley that is home to nearly 2 million Los Angeles residents.

READ MORE: Las Vegas police share lessons learned from 2017 concert massacre

“It is obviously an individual that went on a violent spree,” police Capt. William Hayes said. “We knew he was a danger to the community.”

Police said Zaragoza, 26, killed his father and brother and wounded his mother at an apartment complex in Canoga Park, a modest neighbourhood in a southwest section of the valley.

Story continues below advertisement

From there, he travelled several miles to North Hollywood, where he gunned down two people, police said. A woman believed to be an acquaintance of Zaragoza was killed and a man was critically wounded.

Hours later, police said, Zaragoza shot and killed a stranger on a bus in Van Nuys, in the centre of the valley.

This undated photo released by the Los Angeles Police Department shows Gerry Dean Zaragoza.
This undated photo released by the Los Angeles Police Department shows Gerry Dean Zaragoza. (Los Angeles Police Department via AP)

Michael Ramia said Zaragoza’s father, Carlos Zaragoza, had worked for him for 12 years as a carpet cleaning technician.

He described the elder Zaragoza as “a guy with no enemies, very outgoing.”

“The nicest guy you’d want to be around,” he said.

Ramia said Carlos Zaragoza had confided in him that his son was battling drug problems, adding that the older man often tried to get his son to come to work with him but he seemed to have no motivation.

Story continues below advertisement

“He was a father just trying to protect his son,” Ramia said. “He did it to his last day. He wouldn’t give up on his son.”

WATCH: Houston police chief calls for ‘comprehensive study’ on gun violence

Houston police chief calls for ‘comprehensive study’ on gun violence
Houston police chief calls for ‘comprehensive study’ on gun violence

Neighbor Ruth Barcena told CBS Los Angeles that Zaragoza’s mother was always friendly.

“Really hurt, about what happened,” she said.

Zaragoza is also suspected of an attempted robbery outside a bank in Canoga Park. Police said no one was hurt and nothing was taken.

He was arrested in a commercial section of Canoga Park about 12 hours after the rampage began. Hayes said officers used what he called a small amount of force to subdue him.

Story continues below advertisement

Television footage showed the suspect sitting in a wheelchair and appearing alert as he was loaded into an ambulance.

Police said they recovered a firearm during the arrest.