(CNN) -- Four men gathered in a parking lot were shot and killed Sunday in Mount Airy, North Carolina, and a warrant was issued for a suspect, police said.
"We don't feel that this was a random event, if that does help put the community at ease," Mount Airy Police Chief Dale Watson said at a news conference Sunday night.
He refused to elaborate or identify the victims except to say, "We do have an idea why they were there."
Watson described the victims as "four Hispanic males, all shot," from the surrounding Surry County area. He said two died at the scene while the other two were pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
The shooting occurred shortly after 2 p.m. ET in the parking lot of a store that sells satellite dish and cable TV equipment in the town, about 50 miles north of Winston-Salem.
Watson said an arrest warrant charging four counts of murder was issued for a suspect he identified as Marcos Chavez Gonzalez, 29. He said police believe the suspect fled the Mount Airy area in a pickup.
Watson said local and state authorities were searching for the suspect, who was considered "armed and dangerous ... he may be in the possession of an assault rifle."