At least two people including a man who opened fire in a quiet neighbourhood of Long Beach, South California have died on Friday (29 November). Eye-witnesses said several people were wounded in the attack at a building housing a law office.

Police said the incident took place at around 2.30pm local time (10.30pm GMT) near Long Beach Boulevard and San Antonio Drive in the Bixby Knolls neighbourhood. Earlier reports said an active shooter was at large, but authorities later said the gunman was a former employee at one of the businesses.

Long Beach City Councilman Al Austin, who was briefed by the police, said the shooter is "believed to be deceased at the scene". The man shot one person, before killing himself, Al Austin added.

The identity of the shooter has not been verified yet, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Joy Wilson, whose house is near the place of the incident, said that after hearing police sirens outside her home she walked outside to find dozens of people running down San Antonio Drive.

She said it was "looking like they were trying to get away. They were definitely panicking".

Wilson added that the area was blocked off by police and fire crews with assault rifles and technical gear. "Something bad was happening. They were moving," she said.

Another 40-year-old spectator, Agnes, told the Los Angeles Times that the area "is very safe. Everything was always fine, we have good neighbours. That is why I am in shock".

The workplace shooting comes on the heels of a fire at a New York apartment that left at least 12 people dead and seriously injured others.

The massive fire broke out at a Bronx apartment in New York on Thursday night local time. A witness from the scene heard one father scream "my babies are dead, my babies are dead" as he ran into the complex.

The fire reportedly started when a three-year-old boy played with the knobs of a stove in his kitchen, and quickly raged through the residential facility. Firefighters managed to rescue at least 15 people from the site.