California shooting: Gunman kills 5, self in Bakersfield rampage, police say

Six people, including the suspected shooter and his wife, are dead after a gunman opened fire in Bakersfield, California, authorities said late Wednesday.


Here are the latest updates:

Update 3:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 13: Authorities identified the shooter Thursday as 54-year-old Javier Cazarez.

“This has the (indications) of a domestic violence case,” Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said Thursday at a news conference. He added, however, that “it appears to be more than just a husband and wife got into an argument, because there are other people targeted.”

He said investigators believe Cazarez and Petra Maribel Bolanos de Cazarez, 45, got divorced about four months before Wednesday’s shooting.

Deputies said Cazarez brought his estranged wife to T&T Trucking in Bakersfield around 5:20 p.m. Wednesday. There, he pulled out a .50-caliber handgun and fatally shot Emanuel Contreras, 50, before turning the gun on his wife, according to deputies. He shot and killed her as well, Youngblood said.

Another man, identified as Antonio Valdez, 50, fled from T&T Trucking after the incident. Youngblood said Cazarez shot at Valdez as he ran from the area. When the bullets missed, Cazarez got in his car and gave chase, shooting and killing Valdez minutes later outside of Bear Mountain Sports, Youngblood said.

After the shooting, Cazarez drove to a home on Breckenridge Road, where he confronted Eliseo Cazares, 57, and his daughter, Laura Garcia, 31, according to officials.

“We believe that she may have tried to intervene to keep the suspect from approaching her father,” Youngblood said. “He shot and killed both of them.”

A short while later, Cazarez carjacked a woman who was on Fillmore Avenue with her child, Youngblood said.

“The suspect made reference to the fact that he wasn’t a bad guy and he allowed the female to remove her child and herself” from the car before driving off in the vehicle, Youngblood said.

Cazarez drove to a business on Edison Highway that was owned by one of his friends, Youngblood said, where he was confronted by deputies.

“There was a short ... conversation,” he said. “The suspect then shot himself in the stomach and he also died.”

It was not immediately clear what sparked the shooting. Authorities are investigating the connection between the victims and the suspect.

“These cases are without a doubt overwhelming (with) different crime scenes – it was all hands on deck last night,” Youngblood said. “We’re seeing this across the nation – people are taking handguns and shooting more than one person at a time. … It’s something that I hope we don’t become immune to.”

Original report: According to KERO-TV, the gunman and his wife entered an area trucking business about 5:20 p.m. PDT, where he confronted another man, shot him, then shot and killed his wife, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said at a Wednesday night press conference.

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Authorities said the gunman also shot and killed a witness to the shootings before heading to a Breckenridge Road home, where he fatally shot two more people, KERO reported.

Next, he stole a car carrying a woman and child inside, who escaped safely, Youngblood said. After the shooter fled to Edison Highway, a sheriff’s deputy confronted him, Youngblood said. The gunman then shot and killed himself, Youngblood said.

Authorities have not yet released the names of the suspect or victims.

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