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Three dead, several injured in shooting at Torrance, California, bowling alley

Police were searching for the suspects behind the Friday night gunfire.

Police were searching for a gunman early Saturday after three people died in a shooting at a bowling alley near Los Angeles.

The shooting was reported just before midnight local time (3 a.m. ET), Torrance police said in a statement. The city is part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Officers and fire officials arrived at Gable House Bowl to find multiple people wounded.

Two men were taken to hospital for treatment while two other men sought medical attention on their own, police said. Three people were pronounced dead at the scene, police said in a statement. None of the injured were employees of the venue.

The three men killed were pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The identities of the victims have not yet been released by officials.

Image: Police officers investigate a shooting at a bowling alley in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance
Police officers investigate a shooting at a bowling alley in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance, California, on Jan. 5, 2019.Ringo Chiu / Reuters

Police have launched a homicide investigation, but details on possible suspects or motives have not been released. Torrance police Sgt. Ronald Harris said at the scene early Saturday that the events that led up to the shooting were under investigation.

Jesus Perez told OnScene.TV that he and others were bowling “and everything was fine, and then all of the sudden we just heard there was a fight, and then all we heard was just gunshots.”

He said he heard around four to six shots. They went to take cover, and security escorted them to the back of the business.

One of those killed was identified by NBC Los Angeles as Astin Edwards, 28. His father, Dwayne Edwards, told the station that his son was trying to break up the fight and someone started shooting out of nowhere.

Witnesses described trying to get down and out of harm’s way when the gunfire erupted.

"I seen people running, and I heard gunshots, and I tried to get down, and my daughter is right there, my niece is right there,” another witness told OnScene.TV. "We just — I told everybody to get down."

The mother of one of the people who died said he was the father of a young son and was a fun-loving person who loved life and his family.

"I'm asking you to please just turn yourself in," Anglean Hubbard told reporters of the shooter that killed her son, who she identified as Robert Meekins, Jr., 28.

"I don't have my baby. And my grandson don't have his father, so I have to go home and tell his baby — he's 5 — that his daddy's not coming home no more," she said.

Image: US-shooting-unrest
Anglean Hubbard speaks to the media outside the Gable House Bowl in Torrance, California, on Jan. 5, 2019. Robert Meekins, Hubbard's son, was one of the men killed at Gable House.Mark Ralston / AFP - Getty Images

Hubbard said she doesn’t understand how someone was able to have a gun inside the business. "I just think it's crazy, because how do they let somebody go inside this place with guns? You know, you’re putting everybody's lives in danger," she said.

The third victim was identified by NBC Los Angeles as 20-year-old Michael Radford, who was also a father. He leaves behind an 8-month-old daughter, according to his sister, the station reported.

Damone Thomas, 30, was in the karaoke section of the bowling alley, a regular stop for him and his friends after work on Fridays, when people ran in saying there was a shooting, the Associated Press reported. The Los Angeles resident said his friend flipped a table to shield them as they heard gunshots.

Thomas said he didn't feel scared because he was "just trying to survive," according to the AP. But when he was driving home he said he realized how traumatic the situation was and said he hasn't been able to fall asleep.

"Closing my eyes, all I can see is the women against the wall crying, not knowing what to do," he said.

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, a Democrat who represents California, tweeted that "My heart breaks for the victims of the shooting in Torrance and their loved ones" and thanked law enforcement and first responders.

"We must do more to address gun violence. Americans should be able to go to a bowling alley and be safe," Harris wrote.

Police said that they are reviewing video footage and are looking for at least one suspect.