One killed near California polling sites, shooter found dead

The incident prompted a lockdown at nearby schools and at two polling stations

Afp November 09, 2016
Armed police officers are shown during a standoff where three officers were shot by a suspect in Palm Springs, California, US October 8, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES: A gunman went on a shooting spree near California polling stations on Tuesday, killing one man and wounding two women before dying following a shootout with police, authorities said.

The shooting took place in early afternoon in the city of Azusa, 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Los Angeles, Vanessa Lozano, spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Fire Department, told AFP.

The incident prompted a lockdown at nearby schools and at two polling stations, one of which was later reopened.

Officers arriving at the scene in a residential neighbourhood found three shooting victims and came under fire, Azusa police chief Steve Hunt told reporters.

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He said officers returned fire and the gunman was later pronounced dead at the scene.

It was unclear if the gunman was killed by police or took his own life, authorities said.

"One male victim was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead and two female adults were also transported to a local hospital where they are listed both in critical condition," the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

It was unclear what prompted the attack.

Azusa police advised residents to stay clear of the area and shelter in place as officers combed the neighborhood looking for possible other suspects.

Local government official Dean Logan called on voters to find other polling sites to cast their ballots.

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"Voters should avoid the area and, if necessary, cast a ballot at an alternate polling location,"  he tweeted.

A woman inside one of the affected polling stations said she heard shots ring out before officials placed the area on lockdown. Some 30 people were inside when the incident unfolded, she said.

"At first, I thought it was construction but people came running into the room saying they see a guy with a bulletproof vest and a white shirt," she told CNN. "As of right now, they just have us in the voting room and are trying to keep us calm."

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