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Gunman Kills 1 at Retirement Center

April 20, 2000

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) _ A man armed with a rifle and handguns walked into a meeting at a retirement community recreation center and opened fire Wednesday, killing one woman and injuring four other people.

The gunman was arrested at the scene.

Neighbors and witnesses said the gunman, who broke in on an afternoon meeting of the community association, had past run-ins with the association and was known to berate other residents.

Police Sgt. Shawn Gormley would not release the gunman’s identity but confirmed he was a former resident who was well known around the area. Residents said the gunman had been evicted last year, though police would not confirm that.

Authorities said the 55-year-old man pulled up to the building in a rental moving truck.

Fran Dorsch, a 67-year-old resident of Ventana Lakes, said she was at the pool behind the club with her grandchildren when people came out of the building screaming.

``I thought they were fighting with each other, but then they said a man had a gun,″ she said. ``I heard the shots, ‘Pop, pop, pop.’ ″

One woman died after being transported to John C. Lincoln Hospital-North Mountain, said hospital spokeswoman Susan Fuchs.

The Arizona Republic reported on its Web site that the 75-year-old woman was shot in the head and shoulders. Her identity had not been released.

Victims Charles Yankowski, 69, and Gilbert McCurdy, 63, were both listed in fair condition at Lincoln Hospital, said spokeswoman Polly McGary.

Two other victims were being treated at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, said hospital spokeswoman Catherine Menor.

One victim, a woman with bullet wounds to the head and shoulder, was listed in critical condition. A man was listed in stable condition with a bullet wound to the chest.

A sixth person was also taken to the hospital, though police said that person had not been shot.

The community has about 1,400 homes amid man-made lakes, tennis courts and grassy common areas.

The shooting came a day after a man opened fire at a senior citizens apartment complex in Michigan, killing two women and critically wounding another. In that case, authorities said, the accused gunman opened fire during a meeting tenants called in the wake of accusations the man had used vulgar language.

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