(CNN)When police were finally able to enter the courtyard of the business complex in Orange, California — where four people were fatally shot Wednesday — they found a woman holding a wounded 9-year-old boy.
“It appears that a little boy died in his mother’s arms as she was trying to save him during this horrific massacre,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said at a news conference Thursday, though he later added the exact nature of their relationship was still under investigation.Suspect in mass shooting at Orange, California, business complex knew the victims, police sayThe shooting marked at least the 20th mass shootings since the attacks at Atlanta-area spas two weeks ago. Although investigations are still underway, police have begun to uncover what happened behind the locked doors of the business complex as well as what led up to the horrific violence.”The preliminary motive is believed to be related to a business and personal relationship which existed between the suspect and all of the victims,” Orange Police Department spokesperson Lt. Jennifer Amat said in a news conference Thursday.”This was not a random act of violence,” she said.Read MoreFive calls to 911 came in around 5:34 p.m., Amat said, and officers were at the complex about 30 miles south of Los Angeles about two minutes later.When they arrived, they heard shots being fired inside, but they were not able to enter immediately. From the inside, gates to the building’s courtyard with locked “using a bicycle-type cable lock,” Amat said.It is unclear if they were meant to keep the victims inside or officers out, police officials said.Police tape cordons off the building where the shooting occurred.What police found when they enteredAfter engaging with the suspect and firing shots, police were able to enter the courtyard and found the suspect, who was injured, and took him into custody. Police had earlier said it was unclear whether his injury was self-inflicted.In the courtyard, police also found the boy and the adult woman who survived. She was taken to a local hospital, where she is in critical but stable condition, Amat said.At least 20 mass shootings have taken place in the two weeks since the metro Atlanta spa attacks left 8 deadOfficers found three other victims elsewhere in the complex, Amat said. One woman was upstairs on an outdoor landing, a man was found inside one office building, and another woman was found in a separate office building.The suites where some victims were found belonged to a business identified as Unified Homes, Amat said, a real estate business specializing in mobile homes.Investigators recovered a semi-automatic handgun and a backpack containing pepper spray, handcuffs and ammunition, which authorities believe belonged to the suspect.Amat did not identify the victims, saying the notifications of next of kin had not been completed. Among the dead were two women, a man and the 9-year-old boy, she said.Orange police and detectives gather at the entrance to 202 West Lincoln Avenue.The suspectPolice identified the suspect as 44-year-old Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez. He is at a local hospital in critical but stable condition, Amat said.CNN is working to determine whether Gonzalez is represented by an attorney who would comment on his behalf.Gonzalez, who is believed to have been living in a motel room in Anaheim, arrived at the complex in a rental car and parked it in a lot nearby, Amat said. A preliminary investigation by law enforcement officials concluded the suspect used a legally purchased firearm, she added.Investigators gather outside an office building where a shooting occurred Wednesday.The investigationAuthorities remained on scene Thursday to complete the investigation.Spitzer said investigators were there for two reasons: to investigate the mass shooting, as well as the officer-involved shooting aspect of the case, to ensure both objectivity and transparency.Spitzer emphasized that the suspect is eligible for the death penalty under California law because there were multiple victims.Prosecutors are also looking into whether the fact that the gates were locked constitutes “lying in wait,” Spitzer said, a special circumstance that would also make the suspect eligible for the death penalty.Over the course of his tenure, Spitzer said he had reviewed nearly 20 murder cases for whether to pursue the death penalty, but he has never filed one death case.”Asking a jury to pass down a verdict of death is the most serious consequence we ask, and it’s the only consequence where a jury makes the decision as opposed to a judge,” he said.California has a moratorium in effect for its death penalty, under an executive order signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in March 2019.