4 people shot near polling place in Southern California - police

Law enforcement officers came under fire as they arrived on the scene, about 40 km northeast of Los Angeles.

US Police in California. Picture: AFP

LOS ANGELES – A man armed with a rifle opened fire on Tuesday near a polling station in the Southern California town of Azusa, wounding four people and prompting authorities to lock down the polling place, a surrounding park and adjacent schools, police said.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy Vincent Plair, said there was no immediate indication that the incident was related to Election Day or the polling station.

But the Los Angeles County Registrar and Recorder’s office issued a Twitter advisory urging voters to avoid the area around two polling locations, one in Memorial Park and one in Dalton Elementary School, and to cast their ballots at alternate polling sites. Nearby Slauson Middle School was also placed on lockdown.

Law enforcement officers came under fire as they arrived on the scene, about 40 km northeast of Los Angeles, and the suspect was believed to be at large and holed up in the vicinity, according to accounts from Azusa police and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office.

Police initially said two to three people, all civilians, were struck by gunfire around 2 pm local time, though their conditions were not immediately known. A sheriff’s sergeant said later that four people had been wounded.

The Los Angeles Times reported that one person had been killed, but that could not be independently confirmed.