Two people have been found dead in a burned home, apparent victims of a shooting rampage that killed a woman and injured at least five people before the shooter was wounded at nearby Santa Monica College, authorities said.
Police and witnesses said on Friday that the chaos began shortly before noon when a man dressed in black opened fire on a house in this normally idyllic coastal community, then fired on a car and wounded the driver before taking off in another car.
From there, the chaos moved a few blocks away to Santa Monica College, where witnesses reported vehicles on a street corner being sprayed with gunfire.
Authorities believe at least one shooter, and possibly two, fled from there onto the campus, where California Highway Patrol Officer Vince Ramirez said one suspect was wounded and taken into custody.
Several students in the library reported hearing gunfire, and one witness said he heard a woman scream.
The campus was searched for a second shooter, and a man dressed entirely in black, with the words ``Life is a Gamble'' on the back of his sweatshirt, was seen being taken into custody by law enforcement officers. He did not appear to be wounded.
All of this unfolded about 5 kilometres from where President Barack Obama was attending a fundraising luncheon.
Three women with gunshot wounds were admitted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, said Dr. Marshall Morgan, the chief of emergency medicine.
One died, another was in surgery, and the third was in serious condition but doing well, he said.
Three other women went to UCLA Medical Center Santa Monica with relatively minor injuries, Morgan said. One has shrapnel-type injuries and the two others had injuries not related to gunfire, he said.
Jeff Furrows of the Santa Monica Fire Department said there was extensive fire damage inside the home where the two bodies were found, and one of the wounded women was found with a gunshot wound in a car nearby.
The two-year college, with about 34,000 students, was in the midst of final exams Friday. It was quickly locked down by police, and students were told to leave.
Secret Service spokesman Max Milien said the agency was aware of the shooting but it had no impact on the president's event.