California shooting: Seven killed in suspected illicit marijuana operation

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
A shooter enters.
A shooter enters.
Duncan Alfreds, News24
  • The shooting incident happened on Monday.
  • According to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, six people were declared dead at the scene, while the seventh person died in hospital.
  • The police department said evidence located at the scene suggests that the deceased were allegedly involved in an illicit marijuana growing operation. 

Seven people were fatally shot at what authorities called an illegal marijuana growing operation in the southern California countryside and suspects were being sought on Tuesday.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department responded to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon on Monday at 12:33.

Deputies found a woman suffering from gunshot wounds at a home in the unincorporated area of Aguanga, 100 miles (161 km) southeast of Los Angeles. Paramedics rushed her to the hospital, the sheriff's department said in a statement.

Six others with gunshot wounds were also found at the residence in the 45 000 block of Highway 371, the statement said.

"All six victims at the location died as a result of their injuries. Despite life-saving efforts by medical personnel, the female who was transported also died from her injuries," the statement said. "In total, seven victims died as a result of this incident."

WATCH | California fire triggered by 'gender reveal firework'

More than 1 000 pounds (453.6 kg) of marijuana and several hundred marijuana plants were found at the scene, the sheriff's department said.

"Evidence located at the scene indicated the location was being used to manufacture and harvest an illicit marijuana operation," the statement said.

While cannabis remains classified as an illegal narcotic under federal law, California in 2018 legalised its commercial distribution. As the most populous US state, California opened the largest legalised, regulated and taxed marijuana market in the country.

A search of the area failed to immediately locate suspects. An investigation was underway and no further information was immediately available, sheriff's department Corporal Lionel Murphy told Reuters.

"This appears to be an isolated incident and there is no threat to the general public," the sheriff's department said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
President Ramaphosa has punted the idea of mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for South Africans. This is:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
The right thing to do. We desperately need more South Africans vaccinated to prevent further mutations and restore normality in our lives.
71% - 5516 votes
A risky strategy. Compulsory vaccinations may have unintended consequences and damage our rollout campaign.
29% - 2204 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.