03/19/2008

4 killed in Calif. workplace shooting

By The Associated Press

SANTA MARIA, Calif. — Police have detained a man suspected of fatally shooting four men at a junk yard as onlookers watched, authorities said.

The victims were shot at close range Tuesday, Police Chief Danny Macagni told the Santa Maria Times. One victim was found outside Black Road Auto and three were found inside. All were dead when police and medics arrived.

Macagni called the shootings ''very deliberate,'' and police said the suspect likely reloaded at least once during the attacks.

''There were probably a dozen people here when we arrived that had witnessed the shootings,'' Lt. Dan Ast told KCOY television. None of the bystanders was injured, police said.

The suspect was detained for questioning, but his name won't be released until he is arrested and booked, said Lt. Chris Vaughn.

The semiautomatic handgun used in the shootings was found at the scene.

''This is a case of workplace violence,'' the chief said without elaborating. ''We have a lot of work to do here. We have a very large crime scene.''

Santa Maria is a city of 92,000 people 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles, in northwestern Santa Barbara County.

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