Where Is Azusa? The Los Angeles County Election Day Shooting Happened In A Small Town
At least one person is dead and three others are injured after an unidentified woman opened fire Tuesday afternoon near a polling place in Azusa, California. The Los Angeles Times reported that police officers arrived on the scene and exchanged fire with "at least one suspect who was heavily armed." At press time, the suspect was still at large, and the polling place, located near Orange Ave. and Fourth Street, was on lockdown. It happened in the city of Azusa, but where exactly is Azusa in Los Angeles?
Located on the northern end of Los Angeles County, in the San Gabriel Valley, Azusa is a city of nearly 48,000 people, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. The city, noticeable by the large "A" whitewashed on the side of the San Gabriel Mountains, is located approximately 25 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. The historic Route 66 cuts through the middle of town.
Within the greater Los Angeles area, Azusa is best known as the home of Azusa Pacific University, an evangelical Christian college. It's also home to the Haggard Graduate School of Theology. The town's official nickname is "The Canyon City," owing to its location nestled in the San Gabriel mountains.
And while local legend suggests that the city's name is a compaction of the old Jack Benny phrase "A to Z in the USA," California City News reports that the Azusa's name actually comes from a Native American word "asuksagna, which roughly translates to 'skunk place.'"
As news of the "active shooter situation" spread throughout Azusa, two separate polling places and a middle school were placed on lockdown. Authorities advised residents to stay inside, and shelter in place. After initially encountering the suspect, officers reported that they were "pinned down" by gunfire. But as of 4:39 p.m. Pacific (local time), the Azusa Police Department announced the situation had been downgraded from "active shooter" to "barricade/containment," which generally means the suspect is contained in a specific area, though officers have not yet been able to apprehend the suspect.
During a press conference in Azusa that began at 4:30 p.m., Azusa Police Department Chief Stephan Hunt confirmed that there are no suspects in custody, but that officers are pursing at least one female suspect. He added that conflicting witness reports suggested there may have been a second shooter, but he could not confirm that detail.
Watch the press conference below:
More to come...