Five people died in two separate shootings in California and Missouri, police said, including one case in which a man allowed his ex-girlfriend to make a goodbye call to her family before killing her.

In one shooting, police said a laid-off worker returned to his former office in Northern California on Friday and killed three people.

Forty-seven-year-old Jing Wu shot two men and a woman around 4 p.m. at an office complex in Santa Clara, just west of San Jose. Authorities would not release the name of the business.

The gunman remained at large Friday evening as dozens of officers searched for him. He drove off in a sport-utility vehicle, Lt. Mike Sellers said.

Separately, in Missouri, a man took his ex-girlfriend hostage Friday at a health clinic where she worked, allowed her to call her relatives and killed her before police gunned him down, authorities said.

The shootings took place at St. John's Mercy Urgent Care Center in O'Fallon, about 30 miles northwest of St. Louis. No patients or other clinic workers were injured.

Capt. Dave Todd, who led the team of paramilitary officers that responded, identified the slain woman as medical center lab technician Jenenne Meadows, 47. Authorities said the gunman was 45 years old, but his name was withheld while relatives were notified.

Todd called the deaths "a tragic ending to a tragic situation." He said the couple had broken up one or two months ago.

The gunman entered the building about 4:40 p.m., brandished a gun and ordered people to leave, then went to the second floor and spent about 90 minutes with Meadows in a locked room.

Todd officers stationed in the hallway heard the pair arguing. They tried repeatedly to call the man on various phones, but he did not answer.

Todd said the gunman told Meadows he was going to kill her but allowed her to telephone her family. Todd said family friends informed police that Meadows had told her relatives she loved them.

The man opened fire around 6:30 p.m. as Meadows ran to the door and unlocked it. She was struck twice in the abdomen.

SWAT members stormed in, surrounded Meadows and shot and mortally wounded the man.

Medics in the SWAT team tended to Meadows' wounds. She was talking, telling them, "I'm hurt," Todd recalled.

She was rushed to a hospital and died in surgery.