Cocaine-fuelled deadly gun rampage had 'nothing to do with voting'

2016-11-09 12:05

Azusa – A gunman was on a cocaine binge when he randomly opened fire on Tuesday in a peaceful San Gabriel Valley neighbourhood, killing a 77-year-old neighbour and wounding two passersby before police shot him, authorities said.

The 45-year-old man was found dead in the entryway to an Azusa home, ending an hours-long standoff east of Los Angeles. His name wasn't immediately released.

SWAT team moving in on the barricaded suspect
SWAT team moving in on the barricaded suspect on a shooting rampage. (Leo Jarzomb/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/SCNG via AP)

The shooting that erupted at around 14:00 on Tuesday closed two nearby polling places at a park and elementary school.

However, the shooting "had nothing to do with the ballot or voting," Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. John Corina said.

'Gun fanatic'

The man, a former member of the military, was a "gun fanatic" who began bingeing on cocaine at least a day earlier, prompting his wife and two children to leave their home on Monday evening "because he was getting out of control," Corina said.

On Tuesday afternoon, the man armed himself with a shotgun and other weapons.

"According to witnesses he came out into the street with guns and just started shooting randomly at people and cars," Corina said.

A woman driving a van was hit and another woman was shot as she walked nearby. A 77-year-old neighbour who left his home to see what was happening also was killed, Corina said.

When police from Azusa and neighbouring Irwindale arrived to help the victims, the man popped out of hiding and opened fire on them with an assault rifle. The officers weren't hit and fired back, fatally wounding the man, Corina said.

He went to a home, where he died in the entryway and was confirmed dead hours later. Corina said hundreds of rounds of ammunition were found in the home.

The wounded women, aged 59 and 65, were hospitalised in critical condition.

Read more on:    us  |  shootings  |  crime

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