Police ID Man Behind Deadly Kern County Shooting, Pursuit
LANCASTER (CBSLA.com) — Police identified the man who was killed following a deadly shooting and high-speed pursuit in Kern County early Friday morning.
Authorities said Sergio Alberto Munoz, 39, of Ridgecrest, killed a woman, injured a man, and then held two people hostage in the trunk of his vehicle as he led law enforcement on an hour-long chase.
Neighbors and acquaintances told KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen that Munoz had a score to settle over a drug debt.
They also directed Nguyen to Munoz’s Facebook page, which had postings that read, “To all my friends…got tired of cops [lying] and putting me in jail. I just killed two snitches. U wanted me dead, now I will when these pigs find me and like a movie I will go.”
Police responded to a shots fired and possible homicide call shortly before 5:30 a.m. Friday in the 500 block of W. Atkins Avenue in Ridgecrest.
Officers on scene found an adult female, later identified as 22-year-old Brittany Matheny, fatally shot and another man with multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to the hospital and is in recovery.
“Me and my husband heard one gunshot…and probably five minutes later, we heard three more. And then we looked across, and we saw a black car backing out,” said witness Donna Dunn.
Investigators said Munoz called an officer’s cellphone and made threats.
“He said he wanted to kill police officers, only Ridgecrest had too many guns,” Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said. “He said he had a package and he was going to wreak havoc.”
Authorities managed to track the vehicle Munoz was driving to an unincorporated area of Ridgecrest and tried to pull him over, but a pursuit ensued on U.S. 395.
Munoz opened fire on other cars on the road, according to deputies.
At one point, the suspect pulled over and popped his trunk.
“The officers saw two people inside the trunk. The trunk was then closed. The driver jumps back in the car. And the pursuit continues,” Youngblood said.
Munoz ultimately stopped his car a second time. The sheriff’s department said he fired shots toward the trunk before he turned his gun on officers.
“At that point, deputies, California Highway Patrol and Ridgecrest PD engaged in a gunfight with the suspect, killing him here at the scene,” said Youngblood.
A man and woman were pulled out of the trunk. Both victims suffered gunshot wounds and were airlifted to Antelope Valley Hospital. They’re expected to survive.