Gunmen opens fire in California restaurant: 2 killed, 2 wounded

A man armed with two handguns opened fire inside a restaurant during the lunch hour, killing two people and wounding a married couple before taking his own life, police said.

As many as 15 people were inside the Denny's restaurant at the time, authorities said. Many fled or hid in bathrooms for safety.

"The shooter randomly and calmly walked down the aisle and started shooting," said police Chief Joe Cortez, describing a surveillance video.

The gunman was identified as Lawrence E. Woods, 60, who was believed to be living in his car, Cortez said. The slain men were identified as Harold Hatley, 73, and Frank Velasquez, 65.

The wounded couple were released from a hospital Wednesday night, authorities said.

Investigators believed the gunman's motive could be unrelated to the restaurant or its employees after a witness told them about something the gunman said. They declined to give details. None of the victims worked at the restaurant.

The man, armed with a semiautomatic handgun and a revolver, began shooting within a few steps of the restaurant's front door, the chief said. It was unclear how many shots he fired.

Authorities were trying to determine whether the gunman had a history of mental illness or whether there were drugs or alcohol in his system, Cortez said. His car was towed from the restaurant's parking lot by investigators, reports the AP.


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