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1 killed, 4 wounded in Simi Valley shooting at dental office

July 1, 2009 |  3:16 pm


One person was killed and four others were wounded in a shooting today at a dental office in Simi Valley.

Paramedics and firefighters responded to the report of a shooting about 10:30 a.m. at Family Dental Care at East Los Angeles Avenue and Sinaloa Road, but they could not treat anyone because the gunman was still inside the building, said Bill Nash, a spokesman for the Ventura County Fire Department. Firefighters were allowed inside to treat the wounded after about an hour, Nash said.

Four people were taken to hospitals with injuries ranging from moderate to minor, and another person was pronounced dead at a hospital, he said.

The Simi Valley Police Department was not available for an immediate comment.

Across the street from the shooting, Brenda Sharma, 48, said she was sitting behind the counter at Venture Liquors on Sinaloa Road when she heard a siren.

“We hear them all the time here; there’s a nursing home not too far away,” Sharma said.

But the siren came from a police car. Sharma said she saw a female officer get out of the cruiser and then saw her draw her gun.

“Next thing you know, there’s 25 cops, then a SWAT Team,” Sharma said.

A dental employee was making purchases in the liquor store when police began surrounding the dental office, she said. The employee spoke to one of his co-workers via cellphone and the co-worker said she had locked herself in a room at the dental office with another employee.

A woman and a girl fled the building into Sharma's store. Shortly afterward, police told Sharma to close the store because the gunman had not been captured.

“They told me I was in the line of fire,” Sharma said.

 -- Ruben Vives

Photo: Simi Valley Police lead a suspect away from the Family Dental Care building in Simi Valley after a standof. Credit: Michael Coons