LOS ANGELES (AP) — A gunman in Southern California fatally shot his ex-wife and a person at a trucking firm earlier than chasing after one other man, killing him, after which driving to a house the place he shot useless a father and daughter throughout a virtually 40-minute rampage, authorities mentioned Thursday.
Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood recognized the killer as Javier Casarez throughout a information convention in regards to the shootings that claimed 5 victims in Bakersfield, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) north of Los Angeles.
Casarez, 54, fatally shot himself as a deputy closed in on him shortly after the capturing.
Court docket data present a divorce between Casarez and his spouse Petra Maribel Bolanos de Casarez was finalized in April.
Bolanos not too long ago filed for a change involving youngster assist and custody over the couple’s two teenage kids, and the pair had a listening to set for Oct. 11, court docket data present.
Youngblood mentioned it seems that Casarez focused each sufferer, beginning with a employee at T&T Trucking, and that home violence seems to have performed a big half.
“It seems to be there’s extra than simply husband and spouse having a struggle as a result of different folks have been focused,” he mentioned. “There is a purpose for that and we have to discover that purpose.”
Casarez possible took his ex-wife to the trucking firm in opposition to her will after which fatally shot 50-year-old Manuel Contreras with a .50-caliber handgun, authorities mentioned. He shot his ex-wife after which turned the gun on a second man, 50-year-old Antonio Valadez, the sheriff’s division mentioned.
Casarez fired at Valadez as he ran away, however then tracked him down in his automotive and killed him, the sheriff mentioned.
Casarez then drove to the home of 57-year-old Eliseo Garcia Cazares, who Youngblood recognized as a good friend. Casarez fatally shot Garcia and his daughter, 31-year-old Laura Garcia.
“She could have tried to intervene to maintain the suspect from approaching her father, and he shot and killed each of them,” Youngblood mentioned.
After the capturing on the Garcia dwelling, Casarez carjacked a girl driving along with her youngster. The lady and youngster escaped, and Casarez drove to a freeway the place a sheriff’s deputy noticed him, Youngblood mentioned.
Because the deputy closed in, yelling at Casarez to drop his gun, Casarez fatally shot himself within the abdomen, in response to graphic physique digicam footage launched by police on Fb.
David Bunting, who mentioned he is a good friend of Eliseo Garcia Cazares and lives two doorways down from him, mentioned he has no concept why his neighbor would have been focused.
He mentioned Garcia was a self-employed truck driver who all the time was together with his grandkids when not working, usually driving them round on his golf cart.
“He is a very nice man. I can not say sufficient good issues about him,” Bunting mentioned. “It is type of a shock due to the type of an individual he was.”
He mentioned his daughter Laura was a mom of 4 and that many of the Garcias’ massive household was dwelling on the time of the capturing. He mentioned they’re devastated and in shock.
He mentioned Eliseo Garcia Cazares and his spouse had 4 grown kids, together with a daughter who was killed in a automotive accident a number of years in the past.
T&T Trucking, the place the preliminary capturing occurred, mentioned in a press release that the corporate “is in a state of mourning.”
“We’re vastly saddened and provide our heartfelt condolence and prayers to those that misplaced a cherished one.”
About 30 witnesses have been being interviewed by deputies, Youngblood mentioned.
He mentioned investigators are wanting into whether or not Casarez’s ex-wife could have had relationships with Contreras or Valadez.
He mentioned Casarez was a authorized everlasting resident of the U.S. and that it wasn’t instantly recognized whether or not he legally owned the .50-caliber gun he used within the shootings or whether or not he had a prison report.
He known as the shootings devastating, particularly for Laura Garcia’s kids, who could have witnessed their mom’s dying.
“These younger kids, after they see this, that is one thing that can stick with them the remainder of their lives,” he mentioned. “However officers … they’re additionally not proof against these feelings. These circumstances stick with them their total profession, so this has a far-reaching influence on lots of people in our group and in our division.”
By JOHN ANTCZAK and AMANDA LEE MYERS, Related Press. Christopher Weber contributed to this report.