Three men were killed and nine other people were taken to hospitals after a shooting Tuesday night at a costume party at a home in the Southern California city of Long Beach, fire officials said.
All 12 were thought to be in their mid-20s, Long Beach Fire Department public information officer Jake Heflin said at the scene, but he said the information was preliminary.
Of the nine injured people, five were considered “immediate,” or with injuries that paramedics believe could potentially be life-threatening, he said, but more details about the conditions were not immediately available.
“It looks like it was a party, some type of a Halloween-type costume party and that seems to be where the shooting occurred,” Helfin said, according to video from NBC Los Angeles.
Firefighters responded to the shooting at Seventh Street near Temple Avenue about 10:45 p.m.
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Helfin said the shooting took place at a residence behind a storefront, and the three men who were pronounced deceased were discovered in the back yard.
Long Beach Police public information officer Jennifer De Prez said in a phone interview said that officers arrived to an active and fluid situation.
The shooting is under investigation, she said. No suspect information was immediately available early Wednesday morning, and aerial video showed a large police presence at the scene.
“Obviously, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families that have been impacted by this tragic event,” Helfin said, and he encouraged anyone with information to contact police.
De Prez said that the injuries vary and are both life-threatening and not life-threatening. She could not immediately say how many shots were fired or what type of weapon is thought to have been fired during the party.
“We don’t know if there is just one suspect or multiple. That’s part of the ongoing investigation,” De Prez told reporters at the scene. Police were interviewing witnesses and gathering information to identify and apprehend a suspect or suspects.
A man in the neighborhood told reporters that just before the violence, he was on his way to a liquor store in the area, which he said was normally quiet. The store was closed, and he was walking home when he said he heard around 20 shots and ran.
“It didn’t seem real. I thought I was dreaming,” he said. “It was continuous shots,” he added.
Long Beach is a city on the southern tip of Los Angeles County.
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