Person of Interest Detained in "Random" Killings That Left 3 Dead in San Fernando Valley

The cases happened in the northeast San Fernando Valley by someone in a tan or light-colored SUV with tinted windows.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Police say they have detained a person of interest after an hours-long standoff in connection with a series of random shooting that left three people dead, including two women waiting to go to church, in the San Fernando Valley. Kate Larsen reports from Sylmar for the NBC4 News at 11 on Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. (Published Monday, Aug 25, 2014)

    A person of interest has been detained in connection with a series of "random" shootings that left three people dead, including two women waiting to go to church, within an hour in the San Fernando Valley on Sunday, police said.

    The person was taken into custody after an hours-long standoff with a SWAT team at a home on Polk Street near Gladstone Avenue in Sylmar on Sunday night, said Cpt. William Hayes of the Los Angeles Police Department. The person's name was not released and Hayes did not say whether guns were found inside the home.

    Officials said a vehicle found at the home matches the description of the SUV sought in the shootings.

    A man and two women were killed and four other people were wounded in shootings that happened in a span of 55 minutes and within a 5-mile radius in the San Fernando Valley early Sunday.

    The first shooting happened at 5:50 a.m. when a 20-year-old woman was fatally shot in the 1400 block of Celis Street in San Fernando, Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Frank Preciado said. The woman was with her parents and twin siblings on their way to early morning mass when someone came up and shot at them.

    All five members of the family were struck by gunfire. Police said the twins were injured and the mother and father were in critical condition following the shooting.

    The second shooting happened at 6:35 a.m. in the 13000 block of Borden Avenue in Sylmar. A man between 25 and 35 years old was shot dead while walking near the Sylmar Recreational Center.

    Ten minutes later, a third shooting was reported in the 1200 block of Filmore Street in Pacoima. An African-American woman in her late 50s was shot in the head, police said.

    Sources told NBC News’ Andrew Blankstein that the woman was sitting in a car waiting for a friend to go to church before the gunman or gunmen pulled up and shot her in the head.

    Family members said she stopped to pick up a friend before heading to Guardian Angel Church.

    There was a mattress on the sidewalk with satanic symbols spray painted on it. Neighbors say the mattress had been there, but it did not have those symbols prior to Sunday's shooting.

    Police were looking for possibly two men that witnesses said were driving a gold or tan SUV. Sources did not immediately reveal the weapon that was used.

    "My heart right now is breaking because i really don't understand the tragedy of all this,” said Juliette Murillo, who goes to church with the family of five shot in their car.

    The area where the shootings occurred is about 30 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.

    Police were asking that anyone with information to call 1-877-527-3247.

    Kate Larsen and Reggie Kumar contributed to this report.

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