First responders outside office building
First responders outside the office building where the shooting occurred. Courtesy OnScene.TV

Four people, including one child, were killed and a fifth critically wounded in a shooting at an office building in the city of Orange Wednesday and the suspected shooter was taken into custody.

The surviving victim, a woman, was hospitalized in critical condition, according to Orange Police Department Lt. Jen Amat.

The suspect was also wounded, but it was unclear whether he was shot by police or the wounds were self-inflicted. The suspect was hospitalized in critical condition, Amat said.

The shooting was reported at about 5:30 p.m. on the second floor of the office building at 202 W. Lincoln Ave., near Glassell Avenue. It was unclear in which business the shots were fired.

Amat said officers arrived on the scene as shots were being fired and immediately “engaged with the suspect.”

The shooting drew a heavy law enforcement presence with more than a dozen police cars and a SWAT vehicle at the building, including fire engines from multiple fire department.

Ages, genders and names of the victims were not immediately disclosed.

Relatives with questions about loved ones who may have been victims of the shooting were asked to go to the Orange Police Department.

“I can tell you that we haven’t had an incident like this in the city of Orange since 1997, our Caltrans shooting,” Amat said at a briefing around 10 p.m. “It’s such a tragedy for the victims, their families, our community and our police department.

“So our condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to all of them.”

Five people were killed and two others wounded in that 1997 shooting after former a state employee, Arturo Reyes Torres, 41, of Huntington Beach, opened fire at the Caltrans facility near Batavia Street and Taft Avenue.

Gov. Gavin Newsom called Wednesday’s shooting “horrifying and heartbreaking.”

“Our hearts are with the families impacted by this terrible tragedy tonight, Newsom tweeted.

Rep. Katie Porter, D-Irvine, whose district includes Orange, tweeted that she was “deeply saddened by reports of a mass shooting in Orange County, and I’m continuing to keep victims and their loved ones in my thoughts.”

Wednesday’s shooting was the third since March 16 where at least four people were killed after it had been a year since a shooting of that scale, according to The Violence Project, a St. Paul, Minnesota-based research center known for its mass shooter database.

A gunman shot and killed eight people, six of them women of Asian descent, at three spas in the Atlanta area March 16. A man shot and killed 10 people at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado on March 22.

Updated at 11:20 p.m., Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.