BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (CBSLA/AP) — A gunman killed his wife, four others and then turned the gun on himself in a shooting rampage in Bakersfield Wednesday night, 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 suspect was identified Thursday as 54-year-old Javier Casarez, according to KBAK-TV.
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.
The victims were shot at and near a trucking company, and then at a residence in Bakersfield. Except for the gunman’s wife, officials provided no details on how the victims might have been related.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), tweeted his condolences Wednesday night.
“Judy and I are shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific loss of life in Bakersfield yesterday. Our entire community, with one heavy heart, is praying for the victims and their families.”
According to Youngblood, at 5:20 p.m., Casarez and his wife, 45-year-old Petra Maribel Bolanos De Casarez, went to a trucking business on Manuel Road. The suspect confronted and shot and killed a trucking employee, identified as 50-year-old Manuel Contreras according to KBAK, and then he shot his wife, the sheriff’s office said. He then chased and gunned down a second man who had arrived at the scene. That man was identified as 50-year-old Antonio Valadez, KBAK reports.
His wife died after being rushed to a hospital.
“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. He shot the man outside Bear Man Sports, a gun store.
The suspect then went to a home on Breckenridge Road where he shot and killed a man and his daughter, the sheriff said. the man was identified as 57-year-old Eliseo Cazares and his daughter was 31-year-old Laura Garcia, KBAK reported.
He then carjacked a woman on Filmore Street who was driving her child. The woman and child escaped and the man drove to Edison 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. His gun was recovered.
About 30 people saw the shootings and were being interviewed by deputies, Youngblood said.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)