A gunman in Bakersfield, Calif., went on a killing spree through the city on Wednesday night, fatally shooting five people — including his wife — and stealing a vehicle before being confronted by a sheriff’s deputy and killing himself, the authorities said.
The series of shootings in Bakersfield — about 115 miles north of Los Angeles — began around 5:20 p.m. and unfolded in about 15 minutes, Sheriff Donny Youngblood of Kern County said at a news conference late Wednesday.
The authorities did not immediately release the names of the victims or the gunman.
“Obviously there’s some type of situation that caused the husband to be extremely upset,” he said.
He added later: “We’re trying to find the connection. Obviously these are not random shootings.”
The events began to unfold when the suspect, who was armed with a handgun, and his wife entered a trucking business, Sheriff Youngblood said. They confronted a man at the business; the husband shot and killed the man, and then turned and shot his wife, the sheriff said.
Soon, another man arrived at the scene and the gunman fired at him, the sheriff said. After a brief chase, the gunman shot and killed that man in front of a sporting goods store.
The gunman then continued on to a nearby home, where he confronted and then fatally shot two more men, the sheriff said. He then carjacked a vehicle with a woman and child inside. The woman and child were eventually able to escape, the sheriff said.
Soon, a sheriff’s deputy spotted the gunman driving on a highway. The gunman pulled into a lot and the deputy confronted him. The sheriff said his deputy “confronted him with a firearm” but did not discharge it. Amid the confrontation, the gunman killed himself, the sheriff said.
“You don’t randomly go to a certain residence,” he said. “I’m pretty comfortable there will be a connection between all these players.”
Sheriff’s officials said that although there were at least four crime scenes and dozens of witnesses, he was not aware of any injuries beyond those who were fatally shot.
“Six people lost their lives in a very short amount of time,” Sheriff Youngblood said. “This is the new normal.”
Source: New York Times