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Masked shooters kill 4 people and wound 7 at an outdoor party in California, police say

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KING CITY, Calif. -

A group of men in masks got out of a car and opened fire at an outdoor party in central California, killing four people and wounding seven others before driving off, police said Monday.

Police responded to a reported shooting around 6 p.m. Sunday in King City and found three men with gunshot wounds who were pronounced dead in a front yard, the King City Police Department said in a statement.

A woman also died after someone took her to Mee Memorial Hospital in King City, about 106 miles (170 kilometres) south of San Jose.

Police initially said three wounded men were brought to Natividad Hospital in Salinas, but later announced in a news release that detectives subsequently learned of another four adult victims with gunshot wounds. They also were eventually taken to the hospital.

Two of the victims were in critical condition and the five others sustained non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Several people were at the party outside a home when three men with dark masks and clothes got out of a silver Kia and fired at the group. The suspects, who were not immediately identified, then fled the scene in the car.

The investigation is ongoing, police said. The city offered a US$20,000 reward in the case.

Mayor Mike LeBarre called the killings a terrible tragedy for the community of about 14,000 residents.

“We are heartbroken and share our deepest sympathy with the family and friends of those who were killed by this ruthless act of violence,” LeBarre said in a statement. "I want to assure the community that we are taking all actions and dedicating all resources in our power to bring these criminals to justice, and we will continue to expand our extensive activities and programs dedicated to preventing violence.”

The shooting occurred on a street with a handful of modest homes facing a commercial district.

King City sits in southern Salinas Valley farm country on the inland side of coastal mountains. The U.S. Army’s Fort Hunter Liggett training center sprawls nearby. The city is also known as a gateway to Pinnacles National Park.

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