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California office shooting kills 4, including child, as suspect is wounded in gunfight with police

Four people, including a child, were killed in a mass shooting at an office building in Orange County, California on Wednesday night before police shot the suspect in what officials called the city’s “worst shooting” incident in more than a decade.

The shots were fired at about 5.30 pm at a two-story office building on Lincoln Avenue in the city of Orange, southeast of Los Angeles, said the police. “An officer-involved shooting occurred” afterwards, Lieutenant Jennifer Amat said.

A suspect in the shooting has been taken to hospital with injuries and another victim was injured in the incident.

The gunfight marked the third mass shooting in a matter of weeks across the US in what has been a particularly violent month of March, with about two dozen people killed in gun violence in all.

More details about the condition of the suspect and surviving victim were not immediately available from the police department, nor was there immediate confirmation of what may have sparked the attack or why a child was present in the office building.

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Governor Gavin Newsom described the killings as “horrifying and heartbreaking”. “Our hearts are with the families impacted by this terrible tragedy tonight,” he said in a tweet.

Lieutenant Amat, a spokeswoman for the Orange Police Department, said at a news conference that shots were still being fired when the police arrived at the area of 202 West Lincoln Avenue near Glassell Street.

She said the shooting was the worst in the city since December 1997, when a gunman armed with an assault rifle attacked a California Department of Transportation maintenance yard and killed four people.

The police confirmed that the situation has been stabilised and there is “no threat to the public.”

An eyewitness of the shooting incident said he heard about 14 gunshots and he did not know exactly what happened at that moment, reported the New York Times.

“It’s just such a tragedy for the victims, their families, our community and our police department,” Ms Amat said.

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The visuals from the site of the incident showed officers carrying a motionless person out and providing aid to someone else, a Facebook livestream posted by a resident showed.

California Democrat Katie Porter, whose district includes the city of Orange, said she was “deeply saddened” by reports of the shooting.

“I’m continuing to keep victims and their loved ones in my thoughts as we continue to learn more. My team and I will continue to monitor the situation closely.”

The deadly shooting comes after 10 people were killed in a Boulder, Colorado supermarket last week and eight people were fatally shot – including six Asian women – in three Atlanta-area spas the week before that.

Additional reporting by agencies