A gunman was on a cocaine binge when he randomly opened fire in a peaceful San Gabriel Valley neighborhood, killing a 77-year-old neighbor and wounding two passersby before police shot him, authorities said. The 45-year-old man was found dead in the entryway to an Azusa home, ending an hours-long standoff east of Los Angeles. His name wasn’t immediately released. The shooting that erupted at around 2 pm yesterday closed two nearby polling places at a park and elementary school. However, the shooting “had nothing to do with the ballot or voting,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt John Corina said.
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The man, a former member of the military, was a “gun fanatic” who began binging on cocaine at least a day earlier, prompting his wife and two children to leave their home Monday evening “because he was getting out of control,” Corina said. Tuesday afternoon, the man armed himself with a shotgun and other weapons. “According to witnesses he came out into the street with guns and just started shooting randomly at people and cars,” Corina said.
A woman driving a van was hit and another woman was shot as she walked nearby. A 77-year-old neighbor who left his home to see what was happening also was killed, Corina said.
When police from Azusa and neighboring Irwindale arrived to help the victims, the man popped out of hiding and opened fire on them with an assault rifle. The officers weren’t hit and fired back, fatally wounding the man, Corina said.
He went to a home, where he died in the entryway and was confirmed dead hours later. Corina said hundreds of rounds of ammunition were found in the home. The wounded women, ages 59 and 65, were hospitalized in critical condition.