Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Friday, April 2, as well as Thursday, April 1, as new information has become available.
Police officials on Friday, April 2 identified the four victims in a mass shooting that occurred on Wednesday evening at a business complex in Orange.
The victims, the Orange Police Department announced, are Leticia Solis Guzman, 58; Jenevieve Raygoza, 28; Luis Tovar, 50; and Matthew Farias, 9.
“Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and our community who have all been impacted,” the Orange Police Department stated on its Facebook page.
Officials said on April 1 that they believe one of the victims of a mass shooting at an Orange office complex was attempting to protect a child.
Tragically, the three adults and child were killed in the deadliest spree in Orange County since a man went on a stabbing spree in Garden Grove and Santa Ana in August 2019.
The Orange Police Department on April 1 held two press conferences to provide additional information about the shooting, which was the deadliest incident in the city of Orange since 1997.
The man suspected in the shooting is Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, 44, Lt. Jennifer Amat said. Officers believe Gonzalez had been living out of a motel room in Anaheim. His last known address was in Fullerton.
“The preliminary motive is believed to be related to a business and personal relationship which existed between the suspect and all of the victims,” Amat said. “It appears all of the adults were connected either by business or personal relationship and this is not a random act of violence. The child is believed to be the son of one of the victims who worked at the business.”
The relationships between the suspect and victims are still under investigation, as well as whether the suspect had a criminal history or any restraining orders against him, officials said. The Orange County Crime Lab was still at the shooting site on April 1 processing the scene, Amat said.
Guzman, Raygoza, Tovar, and Farias were found dead at the scene when the Orange Police Department responded to calls of shots fired on Wednesday evening, March 31, at 202 West Lincoln Avenue in Orange. The first of five calls to 911 came in at 5:34, Amat said, and the first Orange police officer was on scene at 5:36 p.m. — under 2 minutes.
Shots were fired by the officers within minutes of their arrival, through the gates of the courtyard. Both gates to the courtyard had been locked from the inside using a bicycle-type cable lock, Amat said. A sergeant provided bolt-cutters to access the gate.
The suspect was found injured in the courtyard and was taken into custody, she said. The boy was found deceased with a woman who had also been shot. Officials believe the woman was trying to protect the child.
Officers immediately rendered medical aid. The woman and the suspect were taken to a local hospital where they are both in critical but stable condition, officials stated.
“Officers quickly began a systematic search of the business complex and located three deceased victims,” the Orange Police Department stated. “One female adult was located upstairs on an outdoor landing. One adult male was located inside of one office suite. One adult female was located inside of a separate suite. The suites where those victims were located has been identified as the ‘Unified Homes’ business.”
“First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims,” said Orange Mayor Mark Murphy. “I ask the entire community to put those prayers of support and lift up those victims.”
Investigators found a semiautomatic weapon and a backpack containing pepper spray, handcuffs and ammunition that officials believe belonged to the suspect, Amat said at a press conference Thursday morning that featured Orange Police Chief Tom Kisela, Orange Police Captain Dan Adams, Orange Mayor Mark Murphy and Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.
Amat said the suspect drove to the location in a rental car that was later found in the parking lot of the business.
The Orange Police Department’s initial response included approximately 20 police officers, then later by about 30 investigators, along with the FBI, ATF and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Amat said.
“It’s just a terrible incident… Thank God we don’t experience these types of incidents often in our city,” Kisela said.
Kisela was working at the Orange Police Department in 1997 when the last mass shooting occurred in the city. Four people were killed and at least three wounded on Dec. 18, 1997, by a former Caltrans worker, who was shot and killed by law enforcement.
This is the fourth mass shooting in the United States in recent weeks, following incidents in Colorado, Illinois and Georgia.
In Orange County, the last incident of this magnitude involved a stabbing spree by a gang member in Garden Grove and Santa Ana in August 2019 that left four dead. The suspect in that attack is currently awaiting trial. In February 2013, a man with a shotgun killed four people during a rampage through several Orange County cities. And in October 2011, a man killed eight people at Salon Meritage in Seal Beach in the deadliest mass shooting in Orange County history.
The press conferences were streamed live on the Orange Police Department’s Facebook on April 1. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Orange Police Department at 714-744-7444.