By James Reinl
NEW YORK (AA) - Four people were shot and killed at a backyard football watch party in the U.S. state of California on Sunday, the third such example of gun violence the state has seen in recent days and amid a fractious national debate over gun laws.
In all, ten people were shot at the party in Fresno, a city of some half a million people in central California, when suspected armed gunmen sneaked into the backyard and fired on the crowd of revelers, police told reporters.
Fresno Police Lt. Bill Dooley said the shooting took place at about 6 p.m. on the southeast side of the city, where people had gathered to watch a football game in the backyard, according to local media reports.
Police said they discovered three people dead in the backyard, while a fourth victim died after being taken to hospital. Six others are expected to survive their injuries and are recovering under medical care, police told reporters.
It was just the latest shooting to draw headlines in the Golden State in recent days, as U.S. lawmakers address a rancorous debate over whether tightening gun ownership rules will reduce the number of shooting deaths.
In the southern California city of San Diego early on Saturday, five people, including three children, died after a shooting inside a family home. The suspected shooter was believed to be the estranged father of the children. He was among the dead.
San Diego Police Department homicide Lt. Matt Dobbs told reporters that the multiple deaths appeared to be a “tragic case of domestic violence-murder suicide."
On Thursday morning, a 16-year-old Nathaniel Berhow shot five of his fellow students at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, Southern California, killing two of them, before turning the gun on himself and pulling the trigger.