Three men have been killed and four wounded in a shooting in the US state of California after a late-night fight at a bowling alley.
The Torrance Police Department said officers responded to calls of “shots fired” at the Gable House Bowl in Torrance, a town about 40km south of Los Angeles, shortly before midnight on Friday
Multiple victims were found with gunshot wounds inside the gaming venue, which offers bowling, laser tag and an arcade.
Police said three men died at the scene and four male victims were injured, two of whom were transported to a hospital for unknown injuries while the other two injured sought medical treatment on their own.
“Investigators are currently conducting a follow-up investigation, and are working to identify the suspect(s) involved,” the department said in a statement.
Authorities have not released details about what led to the shooting, but witnesses said it stemmed from a fight between two large groups of people at the bowling alley.
Wes Hamad, a 29-year-old Torrance resident, was at the bowling alley with his 13-year-old niece and cousin when he saw a “huge fight” break out.
Hamad told the Associated Press news agency that the brawl, which lasted about five minutes, blocked the entrance of Gable House Bowl and devolved into “complete chaos”.
“I grabbed my niece and started running toward the far end of the bowling alley,” Hamad said. “As we were running, we heard 15 shots.”
As he was leaving, Hamad said he saw a woman weeping over a man who had multiple gunshot wounds to his head and neck.
Damone Thomas was in the karaoke section of the venue, a regular stop for him and his friends after work on Fridays, when people ran in saying there was a shooting.
The 30-year-old Los Angeles resident said his friend flipped over one of the tables to shield them as they heard gunshots.
Thomas told the AP he didn’t feel scared because he was “just trying to survive”. But when he was driving back home, he said he realised how traumatic the situation had been and he hasn’t been able to fall asleep.
“Closing my eyes, all I can see is the women against the wall crying, not knowing what to do,” he said.
The US has long dealt with the issue of mass shootings. In the first four days of 2019, there have been five mass shootings that resulted in five deaths, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a group that tracks such incidents.
Both Thomas and Hamad said they had never witnessed any violence at Gable House Bowl in the past, but Hamad said he had stopped going for a while because he heard someone with a gun was recently seen there.
“I definitely won’t be going back any more,” he added.
According to health authorities, nearly 40,000 people died in the US as a result of firearms in 2017 – a figure that includes suicides.
California is going to ban anyone under 21 from buying rifles, shotguns and semiautomatic weapons.
California, which is believed to have one of the toughest gun laws in the United States, is going to make it stricter in 2019.
The state is going to ban anyone under the age of 21 from buying rifles, shotguns and semiautomatic weapons. It is also contemplating a lifetime ban on gun ownership for California residents convicted of serious acts of domestic violence.
Three of the deadliest mass shootings in US modern history have occurred since November 2017.
Three of the deadliest mass shootings in US modern history have occurred in the last two years.
In February, a gunman opened fire on a high schoolin southeastern Florida, killing at least 17 people and injuring more than a dozen others.
In early November 2017, at least 26 people were killed in a mass shooting during a church service in Sutherland Springs, Texas, making it the “largest mass shooting in state history”, Governor Greg Abbott said.
The shooting came about a month after Stephen Paddock opened fire on concert-goers at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, killing 58 people and injuring more than 500 others.
The three shootings are among the deadliest in the US since 1949.
Here’s a look at the deadliest mass shootings in the US over the last two decades:
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas (2017): At least 58 killed
Shooter Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowd of concert-goers at a country music festival at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing more than 58 people and injuring 500 others.
Pulse nightclub (2016): 49 killed
A heavily armed gunman killed 49 people inside a gay nightclub in the city of Orlando on June 12, 2016.
The attacker, US citizen Omar Mateen, was killed in a gun battle with police. He had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, which later claimed responsibility for the attack.
Virginia Tech (2007): 32 killed
A 23-year-old student, South Korean national Seung-Hui Cho, went on a rampage at Virginia Tech University in April 2007, killing 27 students and five teachers before committing suicide.
Sutherland Springs, Texas church (2017): At least 26 killed
A gunman opened fire on a Sunday morning church service in the small rural town of Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing at least 26 people and injuring 20 others. The youngest person killed was five years old.
Sandy Hook (2012): 26 killed
A 20-year-old American citizen, Adam Lanza, killed his mother in December 2012 before shooting and killing 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. He later committed suicide.
Texas restaurant (1991): 22 killed
In October 1991, 35-year-old George Hennard, a US citizen, shot dead 22 people in a restaurant in the town of Killeen before shooting himself.
Florida high school (2018): At least 17 killed
A former student opened fire on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in southeastern Florida, killing at least 17 and injuring more than a dozen others.
San Bernardino (2015): 14 killed
A newlywed couple – US citizen Rizwan Farook and his Pakistani wife Tashfeen Malik, who was a permanent resident – stormed an office party at a social services centre in San Bernardino, California in December 2015, killing 14 people and injuring 22 others. The couple was shot dead by police.
Fort Hood military base (2009): 13 killed
In November 2009, US Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan opened fire at his military base in Killeen, killing 13 people and injuring 42 others.
New York immigrant centre (2009): 13 killed
A Vietnamese immigrant, Jiverly Antares Wong, shot and killed 13 people at a civic centre in the city of Binghamton in April 2009, before killing himself.
Navy Yard headquarters (2013): 12 killed
Former serviceman Aaron Alexis, a US citizen, shot randomly at workers at the Washington Navy Yard headquarters in September 2013, killing 12 people before he was shot dead by police.
Aurora, Colorado (2012): 12 killed
James Holmes, a US citizen born in California, wearing body armour stormed a cinema showing a late-night premiere of a Batman film in Aurora, Colorado in July 2012, opening fire and releasing tear gas. Twelve people were killed and 70 others wounded. Holmes was sentenced to life in prison.
Columbine High (1999): 13 killed
Two American teenage boys – Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold – shot and killed 12 classmates and a teacher, before killing themselves at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, in April 1999.
A gunman has opened fire a synagogue in the US city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
While details of the shooting are still to be finalised, the incident is sure to renew the debate about gun laws and the rights of gun owners.
US President Donald Trump has already said the Pittsburgh shooting had “little to do” with US gun laws. “If they had protection inside, maybe it could have been a different situation,” he said.
What do young people think about gun control?
When looking at the period before the Parkland shooting, it is interesting to track how young people have felt about gun control.
Support for gun control over the protection of gun rights in America is highest among 18 to 29-year-olds, according to a study by the Pew Research Centre, with a spike after the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016. The overall trend though suggests a slight decrease in support for gun control over gun rights since 2000.
Pew found that one third of over-50s said they owned a gun. The rate of gun ownership was lower for younger adults – about 28%. White men are especially likely to own a gun.
How does the US compare with other countries?
About 40% of Americans say they own a gun or live in a household with one, according to a 2017 survey, and the rate of murder or manslaughter by firearm is the highest in the developed world. There were more than 11,000 deaths as a result of murder or manslaughter involving a firearm in 2016.
Homicides are taken here to include murder and manslaughter. The FBI separates statistics for what it calls justifiable homicide, which includes the killing of a criminal by a police officer or private citizen in certain circumstances, which are not included.
In about 13% of cases, the FBI does not have data on the weapon used. By removing these cases from the overall total of gun deaths in the US, the proportion of gun-related killings rises to 73% of homicides.
Who owns the world’s guns?
While it is difficult to know exactly how many guns civilians own around the world, by every estimate the US with around 270 million is far out in front.
Switzerland and Finland are the European countries with the most guns per person – they both have compulsory military service for all men over the age of 18. Cyprus, Austria and Yemen also have military service.
How do US gun deaths break down?
There have been more than 90 mass shootings in the US since 1982, according to investigative magazine Mother Jones.
Up until 2012, a mass shooting was defined as when an attacker had killed four or more victims in an indiscriminate rampage – and since 2013 the figures include attacks with three or more victims. The shootings do not include killings related to other crimes such as armed robbery or gang violence.
The overall number of people killed in mass shootings each year represents only a tiny percentage of the total number.
Latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show there were a total of almost 33,600 deaths from guns in 2016 – of which more than 22,900 were suicides. Suicide by firearm accounts for almost half of all suicides in the US, according to the CDC.
A 2016 study published in the American Journal of Public Health found there was a strong relationship between higher levels of gun ownership in a state and higher firearm suicide rates for both men and women.
Attacks in US become deadlier
The Las Vegas attack was the worst in recent US history – and five of the shootings with the highest number of casualties happened within the past 10 years.
The Parkland, Florida, attack is the worst school shooting since Sandy Hook in 2012.
What types of guns kill Americans?
Military-style assault-style weapons have been blamed for some of the major mass shootings such as the attack in an Orlando nightclub and at the Sandy Hook School in Connecticut.
Dozens of rifles were recovered from the scene of the Las Vegas shooting, Police reported.
A few US states have banned assault-style weapons, which were totally restricted for a decade until 2004.
However most murders caused by guns involve handguns, according to FBI data.
How much do guns cost to buy?
For those from countries where guns are not widely owned, it can be a surprise to discover that they are relatively cheap to purchase in the US.
Among the arsenal of weapons recovered from the hotel room of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock were handguns, which can cost from as little $200 (£151) – comparable to a Chromebook laptop.
Assault-style rifles, also recovered from Paddock’s room, can cost from around $1,500 (£1,132).
In addition to the 23 weapons at the hotel, a further 19 were recovered from Paddock’s home. It is estimated that he may have spent more than $70,000 (£52,800) on firearms and accessories such as tripods, scopes, ammunition and cartridges.
Who supports gun control?
US public opinion on the banning of handguns has changed dramatically over the last 60 years. Support has shifted over time and now a significant majority opposes a ban on handguns, according to polling by Gallup.
But a majority of Americans say they are dissatisfied with US gun laws and policies, and most of those who are unhappy want stricter legislation.
Some controls are widely supported by people across the political divide – such as restricting the sale of guns to people who are mentally ill, or on “watch” lists.
But Republicans and Democrats are much more divided over other policy proposals, such as whether to allow ordinary citizens increased rights to carry concealed weapons – according to a survey from Pew Research Center.
In his latest comment on the shootings, President Donald Trump said he would be “talking about gun laws as times goes by”. The White House said now is not the time to be debating gun control.
His predecessor, Barack Obama, struggled to get any new gun control laws onto the statute books, because of Republican opposition.