BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – A gunman went on a rampage in Kern County, California, killing his wife and four other people before shooting himself to death, authorities said.
Kern County sheriff’s Lt. Mark King said Thursday there were “strong indications” of a domestic violence motive in the Wednesday evening rampage. But he said that was still being verified and did not release further details.
The victims were shot at and near a trucking company and then at a residence in Bakersfield, about 90 miles north of Los Angeles.
Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood told reporters the shootings were not random.
“Obviously, there is some type of situation that caused the husband to be extremely upset,” he said.
He added: “I’m pretty comfortable (saying) there will be a connection between all these players,” he added.
The man first showed up at the company with his wife shortly before 5:30 p.m. where he confronted another man.
“The suspect, the husband, shot the person at the trucking company and then turned and shot his wife” and then chased and shot another man who showed up, Youngblood said.
The gunman then went to a home where he shot and killed a man and a woman, the sheriff said.
He then carjacked a woman who was driving her child. The woman and child escaped and the man drove to a highway where a sheriff’s deputy saw him, Youngblood said.
The gunman saw the deputy and pulled into a parking lot. When the deputy confronted him at gunpoint, the man shot himself in the chest, the sheriff said.
The man’s identity was not immediately made public.
Except for the gunman’s wife, officials provided no details on how the victims might have been related.
About 30 people saw the shootings and were being interviewed by deputies, Youngblood said.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.