A sniper in Bakersfield, California, walked through the city in a series of murders on Wednesday night. He fatally killed five people – including his wife – and stole a vehicle before he was confronted by a sheriff's deputy and killed himself, the authorities said.
The series of shootings in Bakersfield – about 115 miles north of Los Angeles – started at 17:20. and deployed in about 15 minutes, Sheriff Donny Youngblood of Kern County said at a news conference late Wednesday.
The authorities did not release the names of the victims or the gunman immediately.
"Obviously, there is a kind of situation that has extremely upset the husband," he said.
He later added, "We're trying to find the connection, obviously these are not random shootings."
The events began to unfold when the suspect, armed with a gun, and his wife entered a freight forwarding company, Sheriff Youngblood said. They confronted a man in business; The man shot and killed the man, turned and shot his wife, the sheriff said.
Soon another man arrived at the scene and the shooter fired at him, the sheriff said. After a brief chase, the offender shot the man in front of a sports shop.
The gunman then drove on to a nearby house, where he confronted and then mortally killed two more men, the sheriff said. Then he got a car with a wife and a child in the car. The wife and child eventually escaped, the sheriff said.
Soon, a sheriff's deputy spotted the sniper on a freeway. The shooter drew a lot and the deputy confronted him. The sheriff said his deputy "confronted him with a firearm," but did not release him. During the altercation, the shooter killed himself, the sheriff said.
"You do not happen to go to a certain residence," he said. "I am pretty sure there will be a connection between all these players."
Sheriff officials said that although there were at least four crime scenes and dozens of witnesses, he did not perceive any injuries except those that were fatally hit.
"Six people lost their lives in no time," said Sheriff Youngblood. "That's the new normal."