LOS ANGELES • Four people were shot dead and six wounded while watching a football game in the backyard of a house in central California on Sunday, police said.

Police were called to the scene after at least one person opened fire on a crowd of about 35 people gathered in front of the house in Fresno, about 200 miles north of Los Angeles.

“Three people died on the scene,” Fresno deputy police chief Michael Reed told reporters, adding that a fourth man had been taken to hospital in critical condition and succumbed to his injuries. .

The four dead and six people treated for life-threatening gunshot wounds were men between the ages of 25 and 35, he added.

“Our heart goes to the families of the victims … it is a senseless violence,” he said “We are doing everything we can to bring those responsible to justice.”

Reed said the number of shooters was unclear and there was no evidence that the incident was gang-related.

Police spokesman Bill Dooley said the police were looking for surveillance footage and witnesses to track the suspects.

He said the victims were a group of family and friends who had gathered at the residence to watch a football game.

Shots are common in the United States, but despite the extent of the problem of gun violence in the country, legislative efforts to remedy it have long been largely stalled at the federal level.

Choua Vang, who lives near the site of Sunday’s attack, said the incident was the second shooting in the region in as many weeks.

“It makes me feel uncomfortable to be outside when the sun goes down,” he told the Fresno Bee newspaper.

Three days before Sunday’s attack, a teenager shot dead two of his classmates at a high school in the suburbs of Los Angeles before turning the gun on himself.

The gunman died at the hospital a day later, leaving the detectives disconcerted by the apparent lack of motive for the crime.

In July, a 19-year-old gunman opened fire at a food festival in Gilroy, several hours west of Fresno, killing three people.