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Two killed in attack during July 4 celebrations in California beach city

Police officers stand guard at the crime scene where police say two people were killed and three others injured in Huntington Beach, California (Eugene Garcia/AP)
Police officers stand guard at the crime scene where police say two people were killed and three others injured in Huntington Beach, California (Eugene Garcia/AP)

Two people were killed and three others injured in an attack that broke out during a neighbourhood July 4 gathering in a US beach city, police said Friday.

The county coroner removed two bodies from the crime scene at Huntington Beach on Friday morning, in a residential neighbourhood lined with palm trees.

The violence happened just a few blocks from the beach in a community known as “Surf City USA”.

A 26-year-old Huntington Beach resident was arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder, said city spokeswoman Jennifer Carey.

Officials released no further details on the attack on Thursday night other than to say it was an “assault with a deadly weapon”.

It began less than two hours after the city’s fireworks display ended roughly a mile away.

Violence was reported across the US on Thursday.

July 4 historically is one of the nation’s deadliest days of the year.

In the Huntington Beach neighbourhood, evidence of a gathering remained, including chairs, a cooler and drink cans on a grassy verge near the homes.

Remnants of fireworks also littered the street.

People on bicycles rode up to crime scene tape blocking off the street on Friday to ask police and bystanders what happened.

The district attorney’s office said they had not yet received the case from police but charges could be filed as early as Monday.

A spokesperson for the Orange County coroner did not have details Friday about the victims’ fatal wounds.

And the mayor did not respond to a request for comment.

Shootings and other violence during the extended July 4 weekend have left at least 18 other people dead, including 11 in Chicago, and injured dozens more nationwide.