DOWNEY (CNS) -- Three people were killed and two others were injured today in a pair of shootings that police said targeted members of a family who owned a fire extinguisher business in Downey and a house two blocks away.
The gunfire erupted at about 11:10 a.m. at United States Fire Protection in the 8700 block of Cleta Street, and a short time later at the nearby home, according to police and Downey Fire Department spokesman Jason Patao.
Two people died at the business -- one male and one female -- while another female victim was killed at the home. Two other people were wounded and were listed in critical but stable condition.
Downey police Lt. Dean Milligan said the victims were all members of the same family, leading police to conclude that the family was being specifically targeted.
"We do not believe that this was a random act of violence,'' Milligan said. "We do believe that for some reason this family was targeted both at their place of business and their residence. We do not know why at this point in time. But that being the case, two specific locations this close to each other all involving family members, we do not believe this act was random. There is a direct correlation for some reason.''
Officials said the gunman first went into the business, spoke with some people inside and then opened fire, then went down the street to the home, which police said was a residence of either the business owner or relatives.
Police said they received two 911 calls about the shootings, one at 11:12 a.m. telling them shots were fired at the business, and then five minutes later reporting shots fired at the nearby residence in the 8500 block of Cleta Street.
A neighbor, Dean Wright, told NBC4 the suspect shot two women -- a mother and daughter -- at the business.
After the subsequent shooting at the home, the suspect drove away in a 2010 black Chevrolet Camaro with California license plate 6LEA010, police said. The car is owned by one of the victims or relative of a victim, Milligan said.
The motive for the shootings remained a mystery. Milligan said the fact the shooter targeted the family business and home indicated the family was being targeted. But he said none of the victims could identify the suspect.
Milligan declined to speculate on what might prompt someone to target the family. He said there was no immediate evidence that anything was stolen from either the business or home.
"It appears that for some specific reason that there was an intent to harm this family or members of their family,'' he said. "We just don't know what that reason is.''
Downey Mayor Roger Brossmer released a statement on behalf of city officials saying, "We were saddened to learn that a shooting has occurred in the city of Downey. The investigation is still underway and many details are not clear. Initial reports indicate that five individuals have sustained gunshot wounds, including three who were fatally injured. ...We will provide
additional details as they become available.''