Three Killed, Three Injured as Gunman Shoots Up California Home

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Police were on the hunt Thursday for a man who shot and killed a woman and two children, and wounded two teenagers, in the Los Angeles suburb of Simi Valley Wednesday afternoon. Another teenager was injured trying to escape the bloodbath.

"Somebody showed up, entered the home with a weapon and started shooting," said police Lt. Rex Jones.

Reynaldo Herrera Rodriguez, 35, of neighboring Thousand Oaks, identified as the suspect, was thought to be a former boyfriend of someone who lived in the house, a relative of the victims. The 24-year-old ex-girlfriend was not home at the time of the attack.

Rodriguez was last seen wearing a light-blue short-sleeved shirt and driving a dark blue sport utility vehicle, possibly a Ford Explorer, according to Jones.

Authorities said Rodriguez is an employee of Cal Trans, the state highway and transportation authority, and may be headed to the traffic-management control system office in downtown Los Angeles.

Espiranza Martinez, 80, Ricardo Calderon, 12, and Shantal Rios, 4, were killed in the attack.

Rigoberto Calderon, 16, told police Rodriguez entered the home through an open garage and shot him in the thigh, then opened fire on the others.

Lucia Vargas, 19, was hit in the abdomen. Both she and Rigoberto Calderon were in stable condition Wednesday night at Simi Valley Hospital, said hospital spokesman Jeremy Brewer.

Rafael Calderon Jr., 18, jumped from a second-story window trying to get out of the house during the shooting, then ran to a neighbor's house and called police. He was treated for a broken wrist at Los Robles Medical Center in Thousand Oaks and released, said hospital spokeswoman Kris Carraway-Bowman.

The names of the three people killed were not immediately released, but they were described as two children aged 5 and 12 and their grandmother.

Police and firefighters surrounded the home on the eastern end of Simi Valley at about 3:45 p.m. PDT and cordoned off the area. Holding rifles and wearing SWAT gear, the police searched neighborhood back yards, but no one was immediately arrested.

Simi Valley, in Ventura County about 35 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, was ranked by the FBI this year as the nation's most-crime-free city of 100,000 or more residents.

Along with Thousand Oaks, it has held that distinction for 10 of the last 13 years. Amherst, a college community outside Buffalo, N.Y., was first the other three years.

Simi Valley was also the location of the first Rodney King trial, which sparked three days of deadly rioting in October 1991 when a jury returned acquittals for four white Los Angeles policemen accused of beating the black motorist.

The neighborhood where the shootings occurred is only about 2 years old, and homes there sell for as much as $570,000.

Paul Morales, who lives next door to the home where the shooting occurred, said it is owned by Calderon's family, which includes his father, Rafael Sr., and his mother, Anna.

Some of the Calderons' grown children had arrived Tuesday night for a visit, Morales said, adding that he and his family had admired the new car one of them had purchased.

"We were going to have a party this weekend and they were welcome to come to our home," Morales told KNX-AM news radio in Los Angeles.

Jones said the mother and father were both at work when the shootings occurred.

"I have no understanding of what happened today," Morales said. "I have no clue. I came home, I turned on the radio and I was in total shock. I was shaking."

The Associated Press contributed to this report