4 dead in shooting at US gym

4 dead in shooting at US gym

Two women hug in the parking lot outside the LA Fitness gym, where a gunman went on a shooting spree, in Bridgeville near Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Reuters

The shooting took place at about 8:15 pm at an LA fitness centre aerobics class in a shopping centre in Collier Township, about 12 miles southwest of Pittsburgh.
Charles Moffatt, the superintendent of the Allegheny County Police Department, said three women and one man were dead. The police believe he was the gunman. The rest of the victims were all women.

“He did not say anything,” Moffatt said of the gunman, who was believed to have been a member of the fitness centre. “He walked right to the room as if he knew where he was going and started shooting.”

The police said they believe that the gunman shot about 50 rounds from more than one gun, and that he may have intended to kill himself. By the time the local police responded, within about five minutes, the shooting was over, the authorities said. Two handguns and a black gym bag were recovered at the scene. Moffatt also said a note was found, but did not describe its contents.

As dozens of emergency vehicles converged on the sprawling shopping centre and closed off the scene, panicked gym-goers —some bloodied and wounded —fled the fitness centre and scrambled for safety.

Richard Walker, 23, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, who is working in oil fields in the area, was playing basketball in the fitness centre when the shooting began, and as he and others were running out of the gym, a woman who had been shot in the thigh collapsed in front of him. He picked her up and carried her about 50 yards. “The woman kept repeating,
‘He’s going to kill me. He’s going to kill me. He’s going to kill me,’ ” Walker said. The woman collapsed, unconscious, and was taken away by emergency workers a few minutes later.

Other people in the gym told him that the woman was the ex-girlfriend of the gunman, Walker said.

Tom Devin, the Collier Township police chief, said: “We believe the shooter committed suicide at the scene but we’re not positive.”

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