Bakersfield shooting leaves 6 dead

Sheriff Youngblood cites increasing trend as the ‘new normal’

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Bakersfield shooting leaves 6 deadA shooting rampage that left six dead on Wednesday evening in Bakersfield sparked an outpouring of grief and shock from Kern County residents, as well as a sobering message from Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood.

While he conceded that a murdering spree of this magnitude is rare for our mostly rural county, “This is the new normal, if you look across the country, these types of shootings.”

Deputies responded to a report of shots fired about 5:20 p.m. Wednesday at a trucking company on Manwell Boulevard. Early reports indicate that a gunman, whose name had not yet been released at press time, confronted a man at the trucking company at that time.

Youngblood said that early evidence suggests that the suspect shot his own wife, as well as the man he confronted. The suspect then confronted another man who entered the business, and fired at him. That victim apparently fled the scene, and was pursued by the shooting suspect. The suspect is believed to have caught up with the victim at Bear Mountain Sports, where he shot and killed the third victim.

The suspect apparently drove to a home on Breckenridge Road, where he confronted, shot and killed a fourth and fifth victim.

The suspect hijacked a car on Fillmore Avenue, evidently driven by a woman and a child who were reportedly able to safely escape.

The shooter was spotted by a deputy on Edison Highway. The suspect allegedly pulled into a parking lot. When the deputy approached, the suspect apparently fired a fatal shot into his own chest.

Youngblood said that the entire series of events is believed to have happened within about 10 or 15 minutes time.

Subsequent investigations yielded dozens of interviews and a total of five search warrants. The case remains under investigation.

“Judy and I are shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific loss of life,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Bakersfield native, tweeted on Wednesday.

“The city of Bakersfield has experienced a terrible event that resulted in the senseless loss of life,” State Sen. Jean Fuller said. “My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families and their loved ones.”

“My heart is heavy and broken for the families of the victims we lost,” said Assemblyman Vince Fong. “I commend the Kern County Sheriff’s Office for their swift response as we are reminded of how important our law enforcement is during these situations — especially as they investigate what happened and we work together to address this tragic event that has impacted our entire community.”

Pictured: Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood — Courtesy Photo

Story First Published: 2018-09-14