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Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Wednesday, 5 August 2009 16:01 UK

Three shot dead by US gym gunman

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Several killed in US gym shooting

A man has killed at least three women at a gymnasium in the US state of Pennsylvania, before shooting himself.

Another 10 people were injured by gunfire in the town of Bridgeville near Pittsburgh, after the incident at the LA Fitness Center.

An eyewitness told a local TV station that a man entered an all-female dance class, turned off the lights, took two guns out of a bag and began firing.

Police sources named the gunman as 48-year-old George Sodini.

FROM BBC WORLD SERVICE

They said he lived just a few miles from the gym.

"He did not say anything. He walked right into the room where the shootings occurred as if he knew exactly where he was going," said Allegheny County police Superintendent Charles Moffatt.

On a website registered in his name, Sodini described years of rejection by women and his struggles with alcoholism. The site also chronicles, over a nine-month period, his plans to carry out a shooting.

'Flashes in the dark'

One witness said there were about 30 women in the dance class when the shooting took place.

George Sodini
George Sodini detailed his shooting plans on a website

She said there were "flashes in the dark" as the gunman began firing into the group.

Stacey Falk, 26, who was in the class, described the panic as women in the room realised what was happening.

"All of us girls were just ducking behind each other and it was just, you know, I was behind a girl, one of the girls in front to get hit," she told a local TV station.

Others said they saw several women bleeding from bullet wounds to the legs, back and shoulder.

Loretta Moss said she tried to help one woman who was shot in the leg.

"She was screaming, 'It's burning, just please call the ambulance'," Ms Moss said.

One man who was in the gym at the time of the shooting said people ran into the complex bleeding.

"One lady was shot in the leg, one lady was shot in the shoulder. We started picking her up and dragging her out," Richard Walker said.

The gym management said in a statement: "Each of us in the LA Fitness family are shocked and saddened by the senseless acts of violence that took place."



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