GOLETA, Calif. (AP) — A person opened fire at a postal station on Monday night, killing three people and critically wounding a fourth, authorities said.
Sheriff's spokesman Erik Raney said police were advising people in the immediate area to stay inside their homes while authorities searched for the shooter Monday night.
The suspect was believed to be a former postal employee and all of the victims were believed to be current employees, Raney said.
Authorities were looking both in the neighborhood and in the postal station itself.
"Our SWAT teams are going in there as if the suspect is still inside and we're taking every precaution of course," Raney said.
The shooting took place about 9:15 p.m., said Capt. Keith Cullom of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
Two people died at the scene, and a nursing supervisor said a third was pronounced dead at a hospital, he said. The fourth was listed in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head.
The station is located across the street from a fire station, just a few blocks from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Police had cordoned off the area about a half-mile from the university and were searching for the shooter late Monday night.
Postal officials said no one was immediately available Monday to discuss the shootings, which took place about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
The station is located across the street from a fire station, and Cullom said witnesses ran there immediately after gunfire broke out.
Two women were taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where nursing supervisor L. Perry said one of them was pronounced dead upon arrival. The other was hospitalized in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head, Perry said.
The two victims pronounced dead at the scene were found outside the building and the two wounded were found inside, Raney said.