Shooting at church - Merged
I'm amazed they used the term semi automatic rifle,instead of assault rifle.I guess the off duty burbank cop wasn't carrying off duty if he had to tackle the guy
Police: Man with rifle wounds 3 outside LA church 22 minutes ago
A man with a semiautomatic rifle opened fire at a festival outside a Southern California church Saturday, wounding three people, one of them critically, police said.
Shots rang out shortly before 11 a.m. outside St. John Baptist de la Salle, a Roman Catholic church in Granada Hills, Officer Norma Eisenman said. Bystanders tackled the man and held him until he was taken into police custody, she said.
"He was tackled by an off-duty Burbank police officer" and taken into custody by Los Angeles police, she said.
The gunman wounded three people, including a female who was shot in the elbow, Eisenman said. Two people were taken to a hospital in stable condition and one was in critical condition, she said.
Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said another person was treated for chest pains.
The motive for the attack was not immediately known, Eisenman said.
Church officials did not immediately return calls for comment.
Bad: Man opens fire outside California church
Man opens fire outside California church - CNN.com
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A man with a rifle opened fire near a church Saturday morning in the San Fernando Valley and wounded three people, Los Angeles police said.
The intended victim was the gunman's 30-year-old ex-girlfriend, according to CNN affiliate KTLA. She was struck in the shoulder and is in stable condition at a local hospital, KTLA reported.
The suspect is the father of a student who goes to the church school, according to KTLA.
A second victim was in stable condition and a third was in critical condition, Los Angeles police spokeswoman Norma Eisenman said. Watch police on the scene »
The man in critical condition was shot in the chest. He is 45. Another man, 47, was struck in the leg and is in stable condition, reported KTLA.
The Rev. Robert Milbauer, the parish's pastor, told The Associated Press that about 50 people, mainly church volunteers and their children, were setting up food and game booths and carnival-style rides when the gunfire erupted.
"I was walking toward the festival area to say an opening prayer and I saw them," Milbauer told AP of the shooting victims.
"I heard bang, bang, bang, bang. It sounded like balloons popping," said Jeff Sempelsz, a church volunteer speaking to AP. "I didn't know what it was but I could see the rifle in his hand."
William Griffin, a security guard at the festival, was standing near the entrance. "I heard someone yell, 'Somebody's shooting. Somebody's shooting.' I turned and saw a man with a long rifle. He was very calm," Griffin told AP.
The guard said he herded people into the church, then began locking the doors. The man who had been shot in the leg calmly limped in with the others, Griffin told AP.
Police said the gunman is expected to be charged with three counts of attempted murder.
The suspect was reloading his weapon when he was tackled by several witnesses who were volunteers at the festival. The shooter put up a fight, struggling and taunting people as they were trying to subdue him. KTLA said the suspect and the weapon were taken into custody near the church, St. John Baptist de la Salle Parish in the Granada Hills area of Los Angeles.
The call about the shooting came in around 10:57 a.m. PT (1:57 p.m. ET), KTLA said.
The festival was shut down for the day, and Milbauer told AP that grief counselors were meeting with witnesses, particularly the children. The parish plans to go ahead with the festival on Sunday, Milbauer said, in part to help parishioners put the tragedy behind them.