5 dead in Tulare County Indian reservation shooting


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A man killed four family members, including his 8-year-old daughter, before police fatally shot him in a shootout on the Tule Indian Reservation, officials said Monday.

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department said Hector Celaya, 31, shot and killed his daughter, Alyssa Celaya, and three others: Irene Celaya, 60; Francisco Moreno, 61; and Bernard Franco, 53, also known as Bernard Moreno, all of the Tule Indian Reservation.


Celaya also shot and wounded his 6-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter, authorities said. The boy was in critical condition and the girl in serious condition Sunday evening at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, according to the Fresno Bee.

Celaya was shot by deputies early Sunday after a low-speed chase, the sheriff’s department said. The officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave per department protocol on officer-involved shootings, the department said.

The 911 caller who reported the gunfire said the shooter fled in a Jeep with his 8-year-old and 5-year-old daughters, authorities said. Investigators identified Celaya as the suspect and tracked the vehicle using his cellphone, sheriff’s officials said. They caught up with the Jeep about 20 miles away, near the town of Lindsay, at about 2 a.m. Sunday.

Deputies tried to pull the vehicle over, but the driver didn’t stop, authorities said. After a low-speed chase, the Jeep eventually stopped, and deputies say Celaya fired a gun. Deputies returned fire.

Authorities declined to give a possible motive for the violence. Sheriff’s officials said Celaya, who lived on the reservation, was ‘known to law enforcement’ and ‘known to use drugs.’

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-- Adolfo Flores