Gunman Shoots Five Dead in South California Community

At least five people were shot dead and two others wounded Wednesday afternoon at a residence in Simi Valley, about 25 miles northwest of Los Angeles, local television reports said.

Police said the suspect fled after the shooting, which happened around 3 p.m. local time (0900 GMT) on the east side of the city, near Yosemite Avenue and north of the 118 Freeway.

Two of those hit were apparently dead on spot, while a third succumbed to injuries at a local hospital. Three other victims were transported to hospitals, where their conditions were not immediately known.

The wounded included three teenagers. A 16-year-old boy was shot in the right thigh, a 19-year-old girl was hit in the right chest and an 18-year-old boy was injured after jumping from a window while fleeing the gunman.

Police said that the suspect was seen leaving the crime scene in a blue Ford Explorer. Police blocked off the neighborhood as the investigation began.

The FBI ranked Simi Valley, with a population of more than 100, 000, as the most crime-free city in the nation this year. The area is home to a large number of police officers.

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