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Man kills woman, shoots hostages and is killed in gunbattle

By Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 04:35 p.m. HST, Oct 25, 2013


RIDGECREST, Calif. >> A gunman fatally shot a woman, injured a man and then led police on a wild chase through the Mojave Desert with two hostages in his trunk before he was killed in a shootout with police.

Ridgecrest police were investigating the shooting scene shortly after 5 a.m. today when an officer got a call on his cellphone from the suspect, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said at a press conference. The suspect said he wanted to deliver a package to police and kill officers but, because he would be outgunned, he would "wreak havoc" elsewhere.

Police now believe the "package" the gunman had for them was the hostages, Youngblood said.

Nearly two hours later, a sheriff's deputy spotted the suspect's car and a pursuit began over roughly 30 miles of highway, through arid stretches of desert. The suspect ran traffic off the road, firing at least 10 times from inside his black Dodge Dart with a shotgun and a handgun. No motorists were hurt, Youngblood said.

At one point during the chase, which lasted more than 40 minutes, the suspect pulled over and the car's trunk popped open, revealing a man and woman inside. They appeared to shut the trunk, the sheriff said. It's unclear if he opened the trunk or if they opened it from inside. The man then got back in the car and continued driving.

At some point, the man told pursuing officers, "'I'm going to shoot them,'" Youngblood said.

In the end, the man pulled over again on U.S. 395, turned in his seat and began shooting into the trunk. As many as seven officers opened fire and killed the man.

The hostages were flown to a hospital. Their conditions were unknown, but the sheriff said he believed the two will survive.

The suspect apparently knew all of the victims at the original crime scene in the city of Ridgecrest, about 150 miles north of Los Angeles, Youngblood said.

Tresia Hunter, 57, who lives in a mobile home park adjacent to a duplex where the first shooting occurred, was getting ready to leave for a hospital appointment when she said she heard three gunshots that weren't in rapid succession.

"It was a loud gunshot, then two to three minutes passed before the next one," Hunter said. "It took another four minutes before the last one."

There was some information that the suspect was using Facebook during the pursuit, but it wasn't immediately clear what the postings were, Youngblood said. Investigators recovered the shotgun and a handgun.

A crime scene was set up along U.S. 395 at Kramer Junction, where two police helicopters landed amid numerous law enforcement vehicles. The CHP said the highway was closed from Kramer Junction for 10 miles north because of the investigation. Youngblood said the highway would likely be closed into the night while the investigation continued.

Schools in Ridgecrest were placed on lockdown as a precaution but were later reopened.

The city of about 27,000 people is adjacent to the vast Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, which sprawls over more than 1,700 square miles of desert. U.S. 395 runs through the western Mojave, below the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada.

Ridgecrest Mayor Dan Clark called the incident disturbing, especially because the small city is relatively crime free.

RIDGECREST, Calif. (AP) -- A gunman fatally shot a woman, injured a man and then led police on a wild chase through the Mojave Desert with two hostages in his trunk before he was killed in a shootout with police.

Ridgecrest police were investigating the shooting scene shortly after 5 a.m. Friday when an officer got a call on his cellphone from the suspect, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said at a press conference. The suspect said he wanted to deliver a package to police and kill officers but, because he would be outgunned, he would "wreak havoc" elsewhere.

Police now believe the "package" the gunman had for them was the hostages, Youngblood said.

Nearly two hours later, a sheriff's deputy spotted the suspect's car and a pursuit began over roughly 30 miles of highway, through arid stretches of desert. The suspect ran traffic off the road, firing at least 10 times from inside his black Dodge Dart with a shotgun and a handgun. No motorists were hurt, Youngblood said.

At one point during the chase, which lasted more than 40 minutes, the suspect pulled over and the car's trunk popped open, revealing a man and woman inside. They appeared to shut the trunk, the sheriff said. It's unclear if he opened the trunk or if they opened it from inside. The man then got back in the car and continued driving.

At some point, the man told pursuing officers, "'I'm going to shoot them,'" Youngblood said.

In the end, the man pulled over again on U.S. 395, turned in his seat and began shooting into the trunk. As many as seven officers opened fire and killed the man.

The hostages were flown to a hospital. Their conditions were unknown, but the sheriff said he believed the two will survive.

The suspect apparently knew all of the victims at the original crime scene in the city of Ridgecrest, about 150 miles north of Los Angeles, Youngblood said.

Tresia Hunter, 57, who lives in a mobile home park adjacent to a duplex where the first shooting occurred, was getting ready to leave for a hospital appointment when she said she heard three gunshots that weren't in rapid succession.

"It was a loud gunshot, then two to three minutes passed before the next one," Hunter said. "It took another four minutes before the last one."

There was some information that the suspect was using Facebook during the pursuit, but it wasn't immediately clear what the postings were, Youngblood said. Investigators recovered the shotgun and a handgun.

A crime scene was set up along U.S. 395 at Kramer Junction, where two police helicopters landed amid numerous law enforcement vehicles. The CHP said the highway was closed from Kramer Junction for 10 miles north because of the investigation. Youngblood said the highway would likely be closed into the night while the investigation continued.

Schools in Ridgecrest were placed on lockdown as a precaution but were later reopened.

The city of about 27,000 people is adjacent to the vast Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, which sprawls over more than 1,700 square miles of desert. U.S. 395 runs through the western Mojave, below the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada.

Ridgecrest Mayor Dan Clark called the incident disturbing, especially because the small city is relatively crime free.

RIDGECREST, Calif. (AP) -- A gunman fatally shot a woman, injured a man and then led police on a wild chase through the Mojave Desert with two hostages in his trunk before he was killed in a shootout with police.

Ridgecrest police were investigating the shooting scene shortly after 5 a.m. Friday when an officer got a call on his cellphone from the suspect, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said at a press conference. The suspect said he wanted to deliver a package to police and kill officers but, because he would be outgunned, he would "wreak havoc" elsewhere.

Police now believe the "package" the gunman had for them was the hostages, Youngblood said.

Nearly two hours later, a sheriff's deputy spotted the suspect's car and a pursuit began over roughly 30 miles of highway, through arid stretches of desert. The suspect ran traffic off the road, firing at least 10 times from inside his black Dodge Dart with a shotgun and a handgun. No motorists were hurt, Youngblood said.

At one point during the chase, which lasted more than 40 minutes, the suspect pulled over and the car's trunk popped open, revealing a man and woman inside. They appeared to shut the trunk, the sheriff said. It's unclear if he opened the trunk or if they opened it from inside. The man then got back in the car and continued driving.

At some point, the man told pursuing officers, "'I'm going to shoot them,'" Youngblood said.

In the end, the man pulled over again on U.S. 395, turned in his seat and began shooting into the trunk. As many as seven officers opened fire and killed the man.

The hostages were flown to a hospital. Their conditions were unknown, but the sheriff said he believed the two will survive.

The suspect apparently knew all of the victims at the original crime scene in the city of Ridgecrest, about 150 miles north of Los Angeles, Youngblood said.

Tresia Hunter, 57, who lives in a mobile home park adjacent to a duplex where the first shooting occurred, was getting ready to leave for a hospital appointment when she said she heard three gunshots that weren't in rapid succession.

"It was a loud gunshot, then two to three minutes passed before the next one," Hunter said. "It took another four minutes before the last one."

There was some information that the suspect was using Facebook during the pursuit, but it wasn't immediately clear what the postings were, Youngblood said. Investigators recovered the shotgun and a handgun.

A crime scene was set up along U.S. 395 at Kramer Junction, where two police helicopters landed amid numerous law enforcement vehicles. The CHP said the highway was closed from Kramer Junction for 10 miles north because of the investigation. Youngblood said the highway would likely be closed into the night while the investigation continued.

Schools in Ridgecrest were placed on lockdown as a precaution but were later reopened.

The city of about 27,000 people is adjacent to the vast Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, which sprawls over more than 1,700 square miles of desert. U.S. 395 runs through the western Mojave, below the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada.

Ridgecrest Mayor Dan Clark called the incident disturbing, especially because the small city is relatively crime free.

RIDGECREST, Calif. (AP) -- A gunman fatally shot a woman, injured a man and then led police on a wild chase through the Mojave Desert with two hostages in his trunk before he was killed in a shootout with police.

Ridgecrest police were investigating the shooting scene shortly after 5 a.m. Friday when an officer got a call on his cellphone from the suspect, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said at a press conference. The suspect said he wanted to deliver a package to police and kill officers but, because he would be outgunned, he would "wreak havoc" elsewhere.

Police now believe the "package" the gunman had for them was the hostages, Youngblood said.

Nearly two hours later, a sheriff's deputy spotted the suspect's car and a pursuit began over roughly 30 miles of highway, through arid stretches of desert. The suspect ran traffic off the road, firing at least 10 times from inside his black Dodge Dart with a shotgun and a handgun. No motorists were hurt, Youngblood said.

At one point during the chase, which lasted more than 40 minutes, the suspect pulled over and the car's trunk popped open, revealing a man and woman inside. They appeared to shut the trunk, the sheriff said. It's unclear if he opened the trunk or if they opened it from inside. The man then got back in the car and continued driving.

At some point, the man told pursuing officers, "'I'm going to shoot them,'" Youngblood said.

In the end, the man pulled over again on U.S. 395, turned in his seat and began shooting into the trunk. As many as seven officers opened fire and killed the man.

The hostages were flown to a hospital. Their conditions were unknown, but the sheriff said he believed the two will survive.

The suspect apparently knew all of the victims at the original crime scene in the city of Ridgecrest, about 150 miles north of Los Angeles, Youngblood said.

Tresia Hunter, 57, who lives in a mobile home park adjacent to a duplex where the first shooting occurred, was getting ready to leave for a hospital appointment when she said she heard three gunshots that weren't in rapid succession.

"It was a loud gunshot, then two to three minutes passed before the next one," Hunter said. "It took another four minutes before the last one."

There was some information that the suspect was using Facebook during the pursuit, but it wasn't immediately clear what the postings were, Youngblood said. Investigators recovered the shotgun and a handgun.

A crime scene was set up along U.S. 395 at Kramer Junction, where two police helicopters landed amid numerous law enforcement vehicles. The CHP said the highway was closed from Kramer Junction for 10 miles north because of the investigation. Youngblood said the highway would likely be closed into the night while the investigation continued.

Schools in Ridgecrest were placed on lockdown as a precaution but were later reopened.

The city of about 27,000 people is adjacent to the vast Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, which sprawls over more than 1,700 square miles of desert. U.S. 395 runs through the western Mojave, below the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada.

Ridgecrest Mayor Dan Clark called the incident disturbing, especially because the small city is relatively crime free.

RIDGECREST, Calif. (AP) -- A gunman fatally shot a woman, injured a man and then led police on a wild chase through the Mojave Desert with two hostages in his trunk before he was killed in a shootout with police.

Ridgecrest police were investigating the shooting scene shortly after 5 a.m. Friday when an officer got a call on his cellphone from the suspect, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said at a press conference. The suspect said he wanted to deliver a package to police and kill officers but, because he would be outgunned, he would "wreak havoc" elsewhere.

Police now believe the "package" the gunman had for them was the hostages, Youngblood said.

Nearly two hours later, a sheriff's deputy spotted the suspect's car and a pursuit began over roughly 30 miles of highway, through arid stretches of desert. The suspect ran traffic off the road, firing at least 10 times from inside his black Dodge Dart with a shotgun and a handgun. No motorists were hurt, Youngblood said.

At one point during the chase, which lasted more than 40 minutes, the suspect pulled over and the car's trunk popped open, revealing a man and woman inside. They appeared to shut the trunk, the sheriff said. It's unclear if he opened the trunk or if they opened it from inside. The man then got back in the car and continued driving.

At some point, the man told pursuing officers, "'I'm going to shoot them,'" Youngblood said.

In the end, the man pulled over again on U.S. 395, turned in his seat and began shooting into the trunk. As many as seven officers opened fire and killed the man.

The hostages were flown to a hospital. Their conditions were unknown, but the sheriff said he believed the two will survive.

The suspect apparently knew all of the victims at the original crime scene in the city of Ridgecrest, about 150 miles north of Los Angeles, Youngblood said.

Tresia Hunter, 57, who lives in a mobile home park adjacent to a duplex where the first shooting occurred, was getting ready to leave for a hospital appointment when she said she heard three gunshots that weren't in rapid succession.

"It was a loud gunshot, then two to three minutes passed before the next one," Hunter said. "It took another four minutes before the last one."

There was some information that the suspect was using Facebook during the pursuit, but it wasn't immediately clear what the postings were, Youngblood said. Investigators recovered the shotgun and a handgun.

A crime scene was set up along U.S. 395 at Kramer Junction, where two police helicopters landed amid numerous law enforcement vehicles. The CHP said the highway was closed from Kramer Junction for 10 miles north because of the investigation. Youngblood said the highway would likely be closed into the night while the investigation continued.

Schools in Ridgecrest were placed on lockdown as a precaution but were later reopened.

The city of about 27,000 people is adjacent to the vast Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, which sprawls over more than 1,700 square miles of desert. U.S. 395 runs through the western Mojave, below the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada.

Ridgecrest Mayor Dan Clark called the incident disturbing, especially because the small city is relatively crime free.






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Slow wrote:
Another reason we all need more guns. More guns equals less violence. I want my Constitutionally guaranteed BAZOOKA. Only too defend my home from all those invasions I keep reading about.
on October 25,2013 | 01:01PM
daniwitz13 wrote:
Yes, you can have the bazooka, not to defend yourself but to save yourself, therefore you must Pay a price for it. 20 yrs or 20 million dollars, your choice. Pity.
on October 25,2013 | 01:40PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
America has the highest number of guns per 100 people. Over 70 per 100. That's a lot of guns and hence a lot of violence. This does not take into account the number of black market guns already in the hands of criminals. Think about it.
on October 25,2013 | 01:50PM
SteveToo wrote:
If you take away 4 of the Democratically run cities like Detroit and I forget the other 3 the death rate by gun in America goes almost to the bottom of the world list.
on October 25,2013 | 04:50PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
Steve, seriously doubt that. Any citations on the matter?
on October 26,2013 | 07:16AM
sailfish1 wrote:
The bazooka will probably blow up your own home - you know, the one you want to defend.
on October 26,2013 | 11:51AM
mikethenovice wrote:
And the Republicans will continue to support irresponsible people to bear arms. The Democrats do not want to ban arms ownership. They just want a back ground check so only responsible gun owners exist. That's not asking for much. Why is the GOP so oppose to that? It's not perfect, but we have to start somewhere before another person is shot.
on October 26,2013 | 07:08AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
mike, have to agree with you on this one.
on October 26,2013 | 07:17AM
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