A man armed with a semi-automatic handgun shot four people on Friday, fatally wounding two, at the offices of Southern California Edison in the small industrial city of Irwindale, 20 miles east of Los Angeles. The gunman, who is apparently a systems analyst at the utility company and went to work at the location that morning, fatally shot himself after the short, bloody rampage.
The gunman and all of the victims, three men and one woman, worked in the same area of the building. One of the victims was found dead next to his work cubicle. According the the police, the shooter went to work that morning at the location. He was found dead near one of the victims. The gun, a semi-automatic weapon, was found at the scene.
“We have some shooting victims, and the employee is down,” said Baldwin Park Police Department Captain Michael Taylor. “There were rumors there may be another shooter, but as far as we know there is just one.”
One of the victims died at the scene, according to newspaper reports, and another victim died on the way to the hospital. The other two victims were transported to a local hospital and are expected to survive. Police have not identified the names of the deceased victims. Multiple media reports said the four victims were believed to be company managers and supervisors.
The police have yet to reveal the motive behind the attack or the name of the shooter.
Dozens of employees, who were hiding under their desks or barricaded themselves inside their offices, reported the shooting to the police at 1:30 p.m. The father of one employee told reporters that his daughter told him that her coworker bumped into the shooter as he was leaving the bathroom and was told not to worry because “this is not for you.”
The afternoon shooting prompted a lockdown at several schools, including Olive Middle School and Walnut Elementary School, as officials determined whether the gunman was still alive. Later, dozens of people were escorted from the sprawling complex that houses Southern California Edison’s IT department, holding their hands in the air to show that they were not carrying weapons.
Shortly after the shooting, Southern California Edison, which employs 200 people at that facility, issued a statement that read, “Southern California Edison confirms that there has been a shooting at our Rivergrade facility at 4900 Rivergrade Road in Irwindale. Police are on the scene and the building is on lockdown. SCE will provide more information as it becomes available.”
The investigation is being handled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department because the Irwindale Police Department does not have any homicide detectives on staff. Police from Baldwin Park, the city adjacent to Irwindale, were first responders, along with the Irwindale police, and are assisting in the investigation.
“We believe the situation is pretty well secure, but our SWAT team is going to go through every inch of that building just to make sure,” said sheriff’s department spokesman Steve Whitmore.