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Three people reported hit by gunfire at Phoenix office building

January 30, 2013|By Cindy Carcamo
  • A woman is taken to a paramedic truck from an office building where a shooter opened fire in north central Phoenix.
A woman is taken to a paramedic truck from an office building where a shooter… (Michael Schennum, The Arizona…)

The gunman behind a shooting that erupted Wednesday morning at an office building in Phoenix is believed to be an elderly man, police said.

Phoenix police initially said there were at least five people shot but have now confirmed that three people were injured.

One person was taken to a hospital in extremely critical condition. Two others were hospitalized for injuries that are not life-threatening, said Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department. Other individuals were treated for stress-related symptoms.

It appears this was not a random shooting, he added.

“The early indication is that some sort of altercation transpired,” Thompson said.

The shooter is believed to be an elderly man, said Phoenix Police Sgt. Steve Martos. The gunman left the office complex in the 7300 block of 16th Street in a white vehicle, police said.

It appears nobody was fatally injured, Martos said, but that may change.

“It’s still a fluid situation right now," he added.

Television news footage showed people evacuating the complex and a person taken out on a gurney. Police and fire department units were on the scene.

The shooting came on the same day former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was badly wounded in a shooting in Tucson, testified on gun control on Capitol Hill.

Former astronaut Mark Kelly, who testified along with his wife, Giffords, at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun control issues, broke into his testimony to break the news of the Phoenix shooting. After Kelly was asked a question by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) about  his support of background checks for gun owners, Kelly prefaced his response by saying:

“While we were having this hearing and we certainly don’t know the details — but in Phoenix, Ariz., there is another, what seems to be possibly a shooting with multiple victims. And it doesn’t seem like anybody’s been killed, but the initial reports are three people injured in Phoenix, Ariz., with multiple shots fired and there are 50 or so police cars on the scene." 

Then he answered the question.   

“And I  certainly agree with you, sir ,that a universal background check that is effective, that has the mental health records in it, that has the criminal records in it, will go a long way toward saving people’s lives.”

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cindy.carcamo@latimes.com

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