The California gunman who allegedly killed a 9-year-old boy, his mother and two others at an office complex has been charged with four counts of murder but cannot be arraigned because he remains unconscious.
Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, 44, was scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon but his public defenders and prosecutors agreed during the court appearance before Judge Cheri Pham to tentatively reschedule the arraignment for Monday and remanded him into sheriff’s custody without bail.
Gonzalez has been charged with four felony counts of murder, one felony count of attempted murder, and two felony counts of attempted murder of a police officer, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office announced in a press release.
‘I am appearing at the UCI Medical Center as we speak,’ said Kenneth Morrison, the Assistant Public Defender assigned to his case.
‘He is present. He is not conscious. We have not been able to communicate with him. He is not in any condition to provide any time waiver or to sign any form of release, including a HIPAA release,’ Morrison said.
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Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, 44, from Fullerton, is pictured inside the building in a screenshot from surveillance footage. He was unconscious while he appeared with his lawyers Friday before Judge Cheri Pham
Kenneth Morrison, the Assistant Public Defender assigned to his case, appeared with Gonzalez from the UCI Medical Center where he is unconscious
Gonzalez has been charged with four felony counts of murder, one felony count of attempted murder, and two felony counts of attempted murder of a police officer and his arraignment has been tentatively postponed until Monday
Under California law, felony cases need to be brought to trial within 60 days of the defendant’s arraignment unless the defendant agrees to sign a time waiver allowing the trial date to be set beyond that 60-day mark.
Morrison’s mention of the time waiver during the appearance seems to indicate that the court hopes to extend setting a date for the trial in order to build their cases.
‘I have been here since approximately noon observing Mr. Gonzalez in the presence of various police officers. There is no indication that he has ever been conscious or in any condition to provide any sort of knowing, intelligent waiver,’ Morrison said.
‘With that, your honor, I don’t see any other option other than to continue the matter today to see if there is a change in his condition. But I am certainly going to write the court and the District Attorney’s office to provide their insight in how we might proceed.’
District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement: “The taking of the life of another human being is the most serious of crimes and the slaughter of multiple people while they were essentially locked in a shooting gallery is nothing short of terrifying.’
The murder charges make him eligible for the death penalty. Spitzer has said he has not decided if he will seek it.
Gonzalez was charged in 2015 in Orange County with cruelty to a child and other counts. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery and served one day in jail.
All other counts were dismissed, and the conviction was expunged in 2017, said Lauren Gold, spokeswoman for the city of Anaheim.
The nine-year-old boy who was killed in the mass shooting in California on Wednesday died in the arms of his wounded mother who was trying to save him.
Matthew Farias allegedly was gunned down by Gonzalez, who also is accused of shooting the boy’s mother Blanca Tamayo twice in the head. She is still in the hospital in a critical condition.
The pair were named by Thalia Tovar, whose father Luis, 50, and sister Genevieve Raygoza, 28, also died in the massacre at the Orange office complex.
Leticia Solis was named by Thalia as the fourth victim of the shooting, with all casualties known to the gunman who locked them in the complex, police said, although they have yet to officially release their identities.
Luis Tovar owned Unified Homes, a mobile home business in one of the suites of the building in 202 W. Lincoln Ave. where he worked with his daughter Genevieve.
The shooter, 44, from Fullerton, arrived at the site in a rental car and had been living in a hotel, was wounded by police.
Matthew Farias (left) died in the arms of his wounded mother Blanca Tamayo (right) who was trying to save him in a mass shooting in Orange, California
Luis Tovar (left), 50, and his daughter Genevieve Raygoza (right), 28, were also killed in the massacre at the Orange office complex
Leticia Solis was named by Thalia as the fourth victim of the shooting, with all casualties known to the gunman
Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, 44, from Fullerton, was named as the suspect in the shooting Thursday
Thalia has set up a GoFundMe page along with the relatives of the other grieving families to help pay for funeral costs.
Luis, a father-of-five and grandfather-of-six, owned Unified Homes with his wife, Karla Reynoso-Tovar.
One of his daughters, Vania, 28, told the OC Register: ‘My dad was the most amazing dad and grandfather. He supported every single one of us in a time of need.
‘He was extremely outgoing, but serious when he needed to be. He was hilarious. He was everything.’
Luis and Karla, Vania’s stepmother, had recently married after a long relationship.
His daughter said he graduated from Anaheim High in 1990, was elected prom king at school and later worked as a soccer coach.
Vania also paid tribute to her sister Genevieve, a mother-of-two, saying: ‘She was the most selfless woman, who cared so deeply for everyone else. The most important thing in the world to her were her children. Everything in her life was done for her husband and children.’
Genevieve’s husband added: ‘She was an amazing mother, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, and loving friend.
‘She had a smile that could light up any room and a caring nature of putting others’ needs before hers.
‘Although her life ended prematurely, she made a huge impact in the lives of those who were fortunate to call her a loved one or a friend. She will be greatly missed, but her memory will live on in our hearts forever. We love and miss you, Gen!’
Matthew and his mother, Blanca, were the first victims police found in the courtyard of the complex after using bolt cutters to snap the bike cable locks Gonzalez had sealed the gates with, police said.
Orange Police Department Lt. Jennifer Amat said in a press conference that the alleged gunman knew all of his victims.
She added: ‘Between all of the victims and the suspect, there was a personal and or business relationship.’
Police recovered an automatic handgun and a backpack with pepper spray, handcuffs and ammunition from the scene.
Images of suspect Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez were released by Lt. Jennifer Amat of the Orange Police Department on Thursday
Orange Police Department arrived at the office to live gunfire at around 5.30pm Wednesday. It is a two-story building that houses a number of small businesses.
It was the third mass shooting in the United States in two weeks after a shooting at Atlanta spas killed eight people, including six Asian women, and 10 people were killed at a Boulder, Colorado grocery store.
The attack is also the city’s deadliest shooting since the 1997 Caltrans attack which also left four people dead when a disgruntled employee gunned down his colleagues.
Amat said: ‘The preliminary motive is believed to be related to a business and personal relationship which existed between the suspect and all the adults.’
Gonzalez is said to have had ‘issues’ with those at the location as part of a ‘business dispute’ with Unified Homes, officials said.
Police Lt. Jennifer Amat talks during a news conference at the Orange Police Department headquarters in Orange, California Thursday
Officials work outside the scene of a shooting, Thursday, in Orange
Wednesday’s shooting happened in the city of Orange southeast of Los Angeles. When officers arrived, shots were ringing out at the building. Police said the shooting involved the office suites of a company called Unified Homes, a mobile home brokerage
Amat said the shooting happened on both levels of the building. Signs outside indicated a handful of businesses are located there — including an insurance office, a financial consulting firm, a legal services business and a phone repair store
Police officers stand outside a business building where a shooting occurred in Orange, California on Wednesday
Police surround someone at the scene in a video shared online by a witness who said it showed the gunman being detained
Locals gathered near the crime scene after the attack on Wednesday which left four people, including a child, dead
An object believed to have been involved with the shooting is pictured on the blood-spattered ground alongside a tactical vest or some sort of bag with straps. Police recovered an automatic handgun and a backpack with pepper spray, handcuffs and ammunition
The shooting took place at around 5.30pm at 202 W. Lincoln Avenue in Orange at a two-story office building that houses a number of small businesses
An armored police vehicle was on the scene as investigators tried to determine the motive and victims of the savage attack
Police officers are seen in a building were multiple people were killed in a shooting in Orange, California on Wednesday
Carnage as 22 killed in mass shootings in 15 days
Wednesday’s shooting was the third mass shooting in the US in two weeks, leaving 22 people dead.
On March 16, Robert Aaron Long, 21, gunned down eight people in a series of attacks at three Atlanta spas.
Six of the victims were Asian women and police said he carried out the massacre in retaliation for his sex addiction.
Long was arrested and has been charged with eight counts of murder.
The following Tuesday, gunman Ahmad Alissa shot dead ten people including a police officer, in a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.
His motive remains unclear and he is being held on 10 counts of murder, one count of attempted murder.
Friends and family say the shooter was a ‘paranoid loner’ who had never had a girlfriend and was bullied in school over his Syrian heritage.
Wednesday’s latest attack adds four more fatalities to the growing list of America’s mass shooting victims as the gun reform debate continues to rage.
Alec Torres, who works at the complex, told NBC: ‘I believe the shooter was familiar with the building. He closed the front gate to the entrance, which would not allow anybody to leave.’
Spitzer confirmed bolt cutters were needed to open a gate to the building, adding: ‘We are now looking at whether his locking of the gates constitutes a lying in wait.’
Footage taken by one witness shows the moment a bloodied man believed to be the suspect in the shooting was dragged by police from the office complex.
Two officers are said to have opened fire on the suspect. It is unclear if Gonzalez’s injuries were self inflicted or a result of police shots.
Signs outside indicated a handful of businesses were located there, including an insurance office, a financial consulting firm, a legal services business and a phone repair store.
‘Officers arrived as shots were being fired and located multiple victims at the scene including fatalities. An officer involved shooting occurred,’ said a police Facebook post, which was filed shortly after 7pm.
A SWAT vehicle and dozens of police cars responded to the shooting as well as fire engines from multiple area fire departments, the Orange County Register reported.
Cody Lev, who lives across the street from the office building, said he heard three loud pops that were spaced out, then three more.
There was a period of silence and then Lev said he heard numerous shots, followed by sirens and more shots. He said he saw police swarm the office building and paramedics carry a person away on a stretcher when he looked outside from his home.
Witnesses told the outlet that they heard two distinct sets of shots with the first being the initial rampage and the second being the shootout with cops.
‘I was just in my room hanging out. All of a sudden I heard five to seven gun shots go off,’ a neighbor told KABC-TV.
‘And then I waited a couple minutes and the police came. And I heard a few more gunshots go off. It was a lot, quickly. Then the helicopter showed up and it was silent after that. The neighbor added: ‘We thought it was a car backfiring at first. Then it became louder and quicker and we knew it was not. It was quick gunfire shots.’
Bloody clothes and what appeared to be wallet are seen after the deadly mass shooting a California office building
An aerial view shows the large police response after a deadly shooting in Orange, California on Wednesday
A video showed officers at the scene interacting with a person on the ground outside of the office building on Wednesday
Politicians reacted to the news of yet another mass shooting on Wednesday evening.
In a tweet, Gov. Gavin Newsom called the killings ‘horrifying and heartbreaking’, writing: ‘Our hearts are with the families impacted by this terrible tragedy tonight.’
Politicians including State Assembly member Rob Bonta, a pick for California Attorney General, have started to respond to the shooting
Congresswoman Katie Porter said on Twitter that she was ‘deeply saddened’ by reports of the mass shooting. ‘I’m continuing to keep victims and their loved ones in my thoughts as we continue to learn more,’ she tweeted.
‘Obviously this is something shocking for the city of Orange, for something of this magnitude to happen,’ Orange Councilwoman Arianna Barrios said, according to the Orange County Register.
‘Perhaps in this day and age, no community should be unprepared for something like this to happen.’
State Assembly member Rob Bonta called gun violence ‘America’s disease.’
‘No one should have to fear for their lives at work, in school, or in prayer,’ Bonta wrote in tweet.
Bonta is Gov. Gavin Newsom’s nominee for California attorney general.
California Gov Gavin Newsom said the shooting was ‘horrifying and heartbreaking’ as he paid tribute to the victims’ families
‘I am truly heartbroken for the victims’ families and everyone impacted by this shooting in Orange. We don’t have to live like this. We need #MoreThanThoughtsAndPrayers to stop these preventable tragedies. We must ensure that our communities are safe,’ wrote State Assembly member Sharon Quirk-Silva on Twitter.
The Orange Police Department said that it was that city’s deadliest shooting since 1997. Arturo Reyes Torres, 41, an equipment operator who had been fired from Caltrans six weeks earlier, killed four people and wounded others, including a police officer, before police killed him.
The city of Orange is about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles and home to about 140,000 people. It is six miles from Disneyland.