A gunman killed five people in back-to-back shootings in Bakersfield on Wednesday evening before turning the gun on himself when he was confronted by a deputy, authorities said.
The violence began about 5:20 p.m., when the man showed up to a trucking business with his wife and confronted another man, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood told reporters. The husband shot and killed his wife and the man, Youngblood said.
When a third man showed up, the gunman chased him to the nearby Bear Mountain Sports shop and fatally shot him. The gunman, who was not identified, then went to a home nearby and shot and killed two more people, the sheriff said.
Youngblood said the gunman then carjacked a woman who had a child in her vehicle. Both victims were able to escape as the gunman drove to Edison Highway, where he was spotted by a deputy.
The man pulled into a lot and when the deputy approached, the man shot himself in the chest, Youngblood said.
Authorities said they are interviewing 30 witnesses and processing multiple crime scenes to piece together what led up to the violence. The deputy who confronted the man was wearing a body camera.
“Obviously there’s some type of situation that caused the husband to be extremely upset,” Youngblood said, adding that he’s confident of finding a connection between those involved. “Obviously these are not random shootings.”
The sheriff described the incident as a “mass shooting,” adding: “Six people lost their lives in a very short period of time. This is highly unusual.”
Authorities said it could take days to interview all witnesses and gather evidence from the multiple crime scenes.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) expressed shock over the shooting on Twitter.
“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,” he wrote.
6:55 a.m.: Updated with quotes from sheriff, McCarthy.
Originally posted at 9:30 p.m.