Update 2:52 p.m. The shooting was not a random act of violence, police say. And they say they're looking for a white male. The Arizona Republic reports:
Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department said officers believe one suspect is responsible for the shooting and that the suspect is still on the loose. Thompson said one man walked into the building and shot several people.
He said the suspect is a white male and that police believe the shooting was a targeted act and that an altercation occurred prior to the shooting.
Update, 2:20 p.m.There isn't any word of any fatalities so far, but the three of the wounded have been rushed to a nearby hospital, police say. "Phoenix Police spokesman James Holmes said the people who were shot were taken from the scene to a local hospital, and there was no immediate word on their condition," reports Reuters, which adds that Holmes at the time did not report any fatalities.
Update, 2:00 p.m.: Clearer numbers about how many people were involved are coming in. We earlier reported that at least three people were injured, but according to Jane Lednovich at the The Arizona Republic, that number has risen to five. "Five people are injured, three of them shot, in a shooting at an office complex in north-central Phoenix Wednesday morning, officials said," Lednovich writes, adding that the shooting occurred around 10:30 a.m. local time (around 12:30 EST). According to Lednovich's witnesses, there around 50 police cars on the scene right now.
Original Post: Maybe it's just another public coincidence since the Newtown massacre, or maybe shootings in safe places occur so frequently these days that it's impossible to hold a public meeting with the National Rifle Association without a bunch of people getting shot at the same time. But a search is underway to find a suspect who, according to multiple reports from local media in Phoenix, opened fire on multiple victims at an office building starting around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, just as the Senate Judiciary Committee's first major hearing of the year was getting underway. "Police have responded to reports of a shooting with multiple victims at a business complex near 16th Street and Glendale Avenue in Phoenix," reports KTVK TV. "The suspect reportedly fled from the scene and a search is under way." At least three are injured, according to AZCentral.com, while Reuters cites a local Fox TV report that four people have been shot.
While gun violence both major and minor have surely continued across the country over the last two months, today marks the third time since December's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary that a multiple-victim shooting has occurred while the public's attention was focused on government-related hearings, meetings, and announcement addressing the problem of gun violence in America — all of them involving the NRA. On December 21, uring the first press conference by the NRA's Wayne LaPierre (who is also testifying today), a gunman killed four on a rural road in central Pennsylvania. On January 10, a shooting at the Taft School in California hurt three people as CNN cut away from Vice President Joe Biden's meeting with gun-rights groups including the NRA. President Obama acknowledged the frightening coincidence during remarks at the White House three days later, when he addressed gun violence and signed into action 23 executive actions:
Just last Thursday, as TV networks were covering one of Joe’s meetings on this topic, news broke of another school shooting, this one in California. In the month since 20 precious children and six brave adults were violently taken from us at Sandy Hook Elementary, more than 900 of our fellow Americans have reportedly died at the end of a gun — 900 in the past month. And every day we wait, that number will keep growing.
We'll be keeping this post updated as more information from Phoenix comes in.