Residents reported hearing a woman in distress followed by shots. The number of shots was unknown, and police did not release whether the woman died at the scene or a nearby hospital.
An investigative perameter was still up as of 6 p.m. Thursday, Engen said.
A few homes in the area were evacuated, and the three main entry ways into the neighborhood were blocked off, Engen said.
The shooting took place near Turtle Rock Elementary School, said Irvine Unified spokesman Ian Hanigan.
A teacher apparently heard the gunfire and reported it to police, Hanigan said.
No students were at the school and faculty and staff were escorted off campus one by one.
The suspect was described as a 35-year-old Latino, 5-feet-9 and weighing 200 pounds, the UCI alert said. He was wearing a light blue shirt and tan pants.
Police had set up a command post at nearby University High School.
UC Irvine was not locked down because of the shooting, and posed no threat to students, said Tom Vasich, a spokesperson for the university.
— Joanna Clay and Lauren Williams