Three men were killed and four others were injured when gunfire erupted at a bowling alley in California in an incident which saw terrified patrons, including children, running for their lives.
Police in the coastal city of Torrance responded shortly after midnight on Saturday to calls of shots being fired at the Gable House Bowl, and on arrival they found seven people with gunshot wounds.
Three men were pronounced dead at the scene and two were taken to hospital, while two others “opted to seek their own medical attention”, police said.
Authorities have not identified the victims or suspects, or released details about what led to the shooting.
But witnesses said it stemmed from a fight between two large groups.
Dwayne Edwards, 60, of Los Angeles, said he received a call from his nephew that his 28-year-old son Astin Edwards was one of those killed. His nephew told him his son was attempting to break up a fight when a gunman “just started unloading”.
Mr Edwards said: “I’m thinking this is a dream and I’ll wake up. He was a good kid. I don’t understand it.”
Angeline Hubbard said her 28-year-old son Robert Meekins was among those killed.
She said her son was a friend of Astin Edwards, and she believed he also tried to help break up the fight.
“They were friends so I know he probably jumped in and helped Astin and whoever he was with… but I don’t think my son deserves to die,” she said.
Wes Hamad, a 29-year-old Torrance resident, was at the bowling alley with his 13-year-old niece and cousin when he saw a “huge fight” break out.
Mr Hamad said the brawl, which lasted about five minutes, blocked the entrance and spiralled into “complete chaos”.
He said: “I grabbed my niece and started running toward the far end of the bowling alley.
“As we were running, we heard 15 shots.”
As he was leaving, Mr Hamad said he saw a woman weeping over a man who had gunshot wounds to his head and neck.
Damone Thomas was in the karaoke section of the bowling alley when people ran in saying there was a shooting.
The 30-year-old said his friend flipped a table over to shield them as they heard gunshots.
Both Mr Hamad and Mr Thomas said they had never witnessed any violence at the venue in the past, but Mr Hamad said he had stopped going for a while because he heard someone with a gun was recently seen there.
California Senator Kamala Harris said her heart breaks for the victims.
She added: “We must do more to address gun violence. Americans should be able to go to a bowling alley and be safe.”
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