Investigators link Mojave mass killing to earlier shooting but release few other details

RVs on a dirt lot with weeds in a desert area near mountains
Four people were shot to death April 30 in a recreational vehicle on this dirt lot in Mojave. Investigators believe it was linked to another shooting on the same street earlier that day.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

A mass shooting that left four people dead in Mojave more than a month ago is connected to another shooting earlier in the day that sent one person to the hospital, Kern County sheriff’s officials announced.

No arrests have been made in the April 30 shooting of Faith Leighanne Rose Asbury, 20; Martina Barraza Jr., 33; Darius Travon Canada, 31; and Anna Marie Hester, 34, and authorities have released few details about the investigation.

Sheriff’s deputies found the four victims in an RV on a dirt lot on H Street around 11:20 p.m. after residents reported hearing gunshots.


Twelve hours earlier, another person was shot in the same neighborhood, and investigators believe the two shootings are linked, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday in a news release.

Kern County authorities have released few details about the shooting, and the victims’ relatives said they’ve been given no updates, left to wonder what happened.

May 17, 2023

The unidentified victim was shot in the 16100 block of H Street in Mojave, about a block away from the site of the quadruple homicide, according to investigators. The person was taken to a hospital and has since been released.

Sheriff Donny Youngblood told Bakersfield news station KGET that the victim was shot in the head. There were no arrests made in that shooting and the Sheriff’s Office did not reveal what evidence connects it to the quadruple homicide. Sheriff’s officials had previously said they knew what caliber gun was used in the RV mass shooting but did not find a weapon at the scene.

The investigations into both shootings are still ongoing.

Lori Meza, a Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, said the five cases are being investigated as two now with a lot of evidence to process. Multiple pieces of evidence have been submitted to the Kern County Crime Lab for DNA analysis, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Someone requested a reward through the Kern Secret Witness program, which is separate from the Sheriff’s Office and allows people to submit anonymous tips, authorities said. The request is pending approval.

Five people fell out of their kayak after losing their equipment in the water, authorities said. The person who drowned was not immediately identified.

June 16, 2023