AT LEAST six people were killed in a shooting rampage in Los Angeles before police shot and killed a black-clad gunman in a college library.
The suspect, aged in his early 20s, was wearing a bullet-proof vest when he began firing at a house which went up in flames.
Authorities later found two bodies in the ruins.
The man was then allegedly involved in a series of random shootings which claimed the lives of four people, including a homeless woman and a passing motorist.
The killing spree ended at Santa Monica College, where the man was shot dead by police in the library.
The shootings occurred as President Barack Obama was speaking at a political fundraising event just a few kilometres away in Santa Monica, west of Los Angeles.
Neighbours of the house destroyed by fire said the family living there had been involved in a custody battle.
"There was a guy standing on the street in front of my house, in full SWAT gear, with a belt full of ammunition and a semi-automatic rifle," a woman who lived across the street said.