California shooting suspect’s arraignment postponed until he’s conscious and able to speak

The California man accused of carrying out a deadly mass shooting at the former workplace of his estranged wife is expected to be arraigned from his hospital bed this week.

Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, 44, is accused of killing four people, including a 9-year-old boy, in a rampage last week at an office complex in Orange, about 30 miles south of Los Angeles. A fifth victim was critically injured. 

Gonzalez, who was wounded in a gun battle with police, was scheduled to be arraigned Monday after his initial arraignment was delayed Friday. But he has been unconscious and unable to speak since the shooting.

The hearing will be postponed until he’s conscious, a Orange County District Attorney spokesperson told USA TODAY on Monday.

Police had not determined a motive.

Gonzalez is charged with four counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, and two counts of attempted murder of a police officer. Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said he has not decided whether to seek the death penalty.

A police vehicle with flashing lights is seen behind police tape following a March 31 shooting at an office building in Orange, California. (Photo: Jae C. Hong, AP)

Police said Gonzalez was living in a nearby motel and drove to the office in a rented car. He locked gates to the office suite at Unified Homes before the attack, preventing his victims from fleeing and responding police officers from immediately rushing in. Officers exchanged fire through a chain link fence, then used bolt cutters to cut the locks.

‘My heart is crushed’: Estranged wife of California shooting suspect says family has been threatened

Security video inside the office showed the gunman wearing a bandana over his face, armed with a semiautomatic handgun and carrying a backpack that authorities said contained pepper spray, handcuffs and ammunition.

Killed were Luis Tovar, 50, who owned Unified Homes; Leticia Solis Guzman, 58; and Jenevieve Raygoza, 28, and her brother, Matthew Farias, 9. Blanca Tomayo, the mother of Farias, was found wounded, the body of her son in her arms.

This undated photo provided by the Orange Police Department shows Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, a 44-year-old Fullerton, Calif., man who is the suspect in a shooting that occurred inside a business in Orange, Calif., on Wednesday, March 31, 2021. A child was among four people killed Wednesday in the shooting at a Southern California office building that left a fifth victim wounded and the gunman critically injured, police said. (Photo: Orange Police Department)

His estranged wife said she has no idea why Gonzalez targeted her former workplace. Mendoza, who said she had worked at Unified Homes for more than a decade until a couple years ago, said she and Gonzalez were separated about two years ago, and she has not been in contact with him since then.

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“I don’t have the words to describe the pain and horror that this tragedy has caused me,” Aleyda Mendoza wrote in a lengthy text message to USA TODAY and other news outlets. “My heart is crushed.”

The massacre is the latest in a string of mass shootings after a lull amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The carnage took place a week after a gunman in Boulder, Colorado, killed 10 people at a supermarket. The week before that, a gunman in the Atlanta area killed eight people at three spas.

Contributing: Elinor Aspegren and Dennis Wagner, USA TODAY

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