8 Jun 2013

Gunman kills four in California rampage

4:20 pm on 8 June 2013

A gunman dressed in black killed four people in a shooting spree through a US town before he was shot dead in by police.

The rampage in the California town of Santa Monica unfolded a few miles from where US president Barack Obama was attending a political fundraiser.

Police in the coastal town received multiple reports on Friday of a house fire, a carjacking and shootings near a community college.

They had earlier put the death toll at six.

The bodies of two people were discovered at the scene of the fire and two others were shot later at separate locations before the gunman was killed, police said.

Several other people were injured in the rampage, one of them a woman listed in critical condition, police and hospital officials said.

Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said police exchanged gunfire with the suspect outside the college and pursued him into a library, where he was shot and killed.

Students at the campus library described a scene of pandemonium as the sounds of gunfire rang out, sending some scurrying for cover.

US president Barack Obama had been attending a fundraising event at the Santa Monica home of former News Corp president Peter Chernin at about the time of the shooting and had just finished his remarks. He made no mention of the incident.

A Secret Service spokesman in Washington said the incident did not affect the president's visit.