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« on: August 24, 2018, 10:45:05 pm »

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- A mass shooting broke out here early Saturday, killing 3 people and wounding 12 others. It is the latest in a string of deadly shootings in the United States this year.

The shooting broke out at a West Adams home that appeared to have been turned into a makeshift restaurant. Police arrived at the scene around noon.

"It's a bloody scene with shell casings everywhere," Sgt. Frank Preciado of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said. He said that there were around 50 people inside the place.

Preciado told local media that three men left the restaurant and returned with firearms and began shooting at another group of people, while others at the restaurant also opened fire. The scene turned into a gun battle.

"When we got there, there were three people dead and people running everywhere," Preciado said. "We had multiple people with gunshot wounds."

The shooting continued in the driveway outside of the home. "We have been told by some folks in the area that there was a makeshift restaurant there," said Lt. Chuck Springer of the LAPD's Southwest Station.

Police said two of the victims are in serious condition, while two of the wounded have been released from the hospital while the others remain hospitalized with wounds that are not considered life-threatening.

A large number of officers from across Los Angeles were sent to the scene to search for runaway suspects. Police in the neighborhood also searched for witnesses.

"It was just 'pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.' It didn't stop. It just kept going. ... Really loud," a resident told local media.

"It was a series (of gunshots) first, like really fast, then a pause, almost like someone reloaded," she said. "It was specific, as if someone was pointing at people." The woman estimated the total number of gunshots to be around 20.

"We must take action against easy access to firearms and the thoughtless, indiscriminate, murderous use of them," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. "We cannot tolerate these tragedies multiplying in communities across America."

The motive for the shooting remained unclear.

The genders and ages of the victims have not been disclosed at this moment.

One male suspect was taken into custody and another remained at large. Police did not disclose the suspect's identity.

According to the online database Mass Shooting Tracker, there have been 378 mass shootings in the United States so far this year, killing around 490 people so far. The figure has already surpassed the total number of 371 incidents last year, which killed 469 people.

Lack of effective gun control regulations were widely blamed for the rise in shooting incidents.

U.S. President Barack Obama expressed regret earlier this year about "how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon."

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