|Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Friday, April 2, and I’m writing from Los Angeles.
On Wednesday evening, a mass shooting at an Orange office park left four people dead, including a 9-year-old boy, and one person critically wounded. The incident was the third mass shooting in the United States in just over two weeks.
[Read the story: “Orange gunman locked gates of office complex before killing 4; police say he knew victims” in the Los Angeles Times]
Many of the details are still unclear, but here’s what we know so far, as reported by my colleagues Anh Do, Hannah Fry, Ruben Vives, Matthew Ormseth, Joe Mozingo and Hayley Smith.
Police say the massacre was not random, and the gunman is believed to have personal and professional ties to his victims. At least some of the victims are believed to have been employees at Unified Homes, a real estate company and mobile home brokerage housed in an office park on Lincoln Avenue in Orange, not far from Anaheim.
Police received several 911 calls just after 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, reporting shots fired at the office complex. Orange Police Lt. Jennifer Amat said police encountered gunfire when they arrived and opened fire, shooting the suspect through the locked gates to the complex. Two gates to the complex had been secured shut with bike cable locks, which authorities believe were put in place by the gunman.
[Read more: “Orange shooting gunman knew his victims and how to trap them” in the Los Angeles Times]
After cutting through the locks, police found two victims in the courtyard — the 9-year-old boy and a woman who had been critically wounded.
Orange County Dist. Atty. Todd Spitzer said it appeared that the child died in the arms of a woman who “was trying to save him.” The boy is believed to have been the son of one of the victims who worked at Unified Homes. A man who worked out of another office suite in the building told the Associated Press that his office neighbors often brought their children to work during the pandemic.
Police found three additional bodies at the scene, with two victims shot inside offices and one on an upstairs outdoor landing. The victims’ names have yet to be released because authorities are still notifying next of kin.
Police identified the suspect as Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, a 44-year-old Fullerton man. The Orange Police Department is conducting the investigation into the suspect and victims.
Arianna Barrios, a City Council member in Orange, said the community was trying to get some sense of what had happened inside the office building on Wednesday.
“Orange is a strong, resilient community. The victims, their families and all who have been touched by this monstrous act of violence can depend on us to stand with them in this terrible time.”
And now, here’s what’s happening across California:
As drought conditions deepen, Northern and Southern California face different fates: In Northern California, areas dependent on local supplies, such as Sonoma County, could be the hardest-hit. Central Valley growers have been told of steep cuts to upcoming water deliveries. But record amounts of regional water storage will buffer urban Southern California from the effects of drought this year. Los Angeles Times
Note: Some of the sites we link to may limit the number of stories you can access without subscribing.
|ADVERTISEMENT BY BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM FROM AMAZON STUDIOSAmazon Studios presents BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM, hailed by The New York Times as “the best film of the year,” and now nominated for 2 Academy Awards® for Best Supporting Actress Maria Bakalova and Best Adapted Screenplay. Sacha Baron Cohen’s satire on Trump’s America is also the winner of two Golden Globe® Awards including Best Picture, and a WGA Award for Outstanding Adapted Screenplay. Maria Bakalova has won Best Supporting Actress at the Critics Choice Awards as well as dozens of regional awards.
BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM is streaming on Prime Video.
End of advertisement
The Huntington Library has a history of inequity. Can it pivot toward inclusivity? Los Angeles Times (This story is a subscriber exclusive.)
After YouTuber Stevie Ryan’s death, a nurse practitioner faces scrutiny: A nurse practitioner who provided psychiatric care for the late YouTube star and actress allegedly engaged in an inappropriate, boundary-crossing relationship with Ryan, according to a legal proceeding. Los Angeles Times
Support our journalism
Subscribe to the Los Angeles Times.
POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT
Biden’s infrastructure bill will face an uphill battle in Congress: President Biden this week passed the baton on his massive infrastructure plan to Democrats on Capitol Hill, who are already making demands on what the plan should include. Los Angeles Times
Facing recall, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s political future is tied to California’s vaccine effort: Newsom’s political survival hinges on how Californians feel about their lives and their governor in the fall when they will probably cast their ballots. Los Angeles Times
California Health Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly gave Gov. Gavin Newsom his vaccine shot at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza on Thursday. Newsom was vaccinated with the new one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. (Associated Press)
The Silicon Valley VCs vs. the San Francisco district attorney: Inside the small but loud campaign to oust San Francisco Dist. Atty. Chesa Boudin. Mother Jones
HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT
More than 30% of Californians are now at least partly vaccinated against COVID-19 — a hopeful milestone that comes as the state dramatically expands who is eligible to receive the shots. Los Angeles Times
[See also: “So you’re eligible for the vaccine. Here’s how to get one” in the Los Angeles Times]’
Bay Area COVID-19 variants could outpace vaccine distribution: A Bay Area health director warned that more infectious variants of the coronavirus may be fueling a new spike in cases as numbers throughout the region flatten and even start to tick up. Los Angeles Times
“As is often the case with Muni, the joke was on the riders.” On April Fools’ Day morning, a San Francisco supervisor erroneously tweeted that the municipal transit system would be made free for riders. Many were not amused by the elected official’s attempted “prank.” San Francisco Chronicle
The hardest (and easiest) California state park campgrounds to book right now, along with some tips on how to make a reservation. SFGATE
A poem to start your Friday: “April” by Alicia Ostriker. Poetry Foundation
Free online games
Get our free daily crossword puzzle, sudoku, word search and arcade games in our new game center at latimes.com/games.
Los Angeles: pleasantly sunny, 78. San Diego: temperate sunny, 70. San Francisco: mainly cloudy, 57. San Jose: commingling sun and clouds, 75. Fresno: oppressively sunny, 88. Sacramento: fine sunny, 82.
Today’s California memory comes from Diana Nehus deNoyelles:
Sunday drives were a favorite in my family. We started from our home in West L.A. before freeways and before the Red Car Line was dismantled. My favorite drives were to the San Fernando Valley along Sepulveda Boulevard in the spring. It was a curved, long and narrow road…. We paused when we came to the first overlook of the farmland and citrus groves in the valley below. In spring we rolled the windows down to catch the heady scent of citrus as we descended. Mom loved stopping at the farm stands along the highway to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. We spent time trying to locate the vast fields of poppies and lupine. We also enjoyed farm houses with horses and cattle roaming behind barbed wire or wooden fencing.
If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)
Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints, ideas and unrelated book recommendations to Julia Wick. Follow her on Twitter @Sherlyholmes.