Three people were dead and nine wounded in a shooting rampage at a home in Long Beach, California, authorities said Wednesday. The shooting spree apparently took place at a Halloween party Tuesday night.
The news was confirmed by Jake Heflin, public information officer with the Long Beach Fire Department.
“Upon arrival, the engine company and the paramedic unit identified a scene obviously full of chaos,” Heflin said.
Heflin said it was not clear if the attack was the work of just one shooter. No suspects were in custody and no motive had been immediately determined. Heflin said he did not information on the condition of the wounded.
Lambert Alcendor, 21, told the Long Beach Press-Telegram he was walking to a liquor store when he saw a white car swerving onto the street. Then he heard 20 to 30 shots.
“I definitely heard a lot of shots,” he said. “And that’s when I started running.”
Oscar Cancio, 33, said he was unloading hockey equipment from his car when he heard what sounded like between nine and 11 gunshots. He told the Press-Telegram he thought they were fireworks until he heard a helicopter circling overhead and sirens approaching.
He saw three people who were completely still, as they were taken away from the building on stretchers. Others dressed in Halloween costumes were limping out of the building, he said.
“You don’t really hear about big shootings here, so for this to happen in our neighborhood feels awful,” he said. “You don’t feel good walking in the street after something like this.”
The shooting comes amid ongoing debate on how to combat gun violence that runs rampant in the US.
While California has the toughest gun laws of all US states, this week’s incident may mark the third mass shooting in California in 2019, the New York Times reported.
Three people were killed during the Gilroy garlic festival in July. A woman was fatally shot during a Passover celebrations at her synagogue in April.