Gunman kills his wife, 4 others and himself in California

The man shot dead his wife and four men in Bakersfield in Southern California. Source ReutersMore

Five people were killed before the gunman turned the weapon on himself.

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood briefs reporters Wednesday after six people died in a string of consecutive shootings.

At about 5:20 p.m. a man arrived at a trucking business behind Bear Mountain Sports with his wife.

The gunman fled the area, going to a nearby residence and fatally shooting two more people.

The shooting in Bakersfield in central California was possibly "a domestic violence incident", said Lieutenant Mark King of the Kern County sheriff's office.

Casarez then commandeered a vehicle from a woman, taking the auto without harming her or a child who was with her, Youngblood said.

The gunman and his ex-wife had been divorced four months, and she had just filed for a new hearing regarding child support and property values, Youngblood said Thursday. "It was a very short period of time, maybe 10-15 minutes".

Deputies are now interviewing about 30 people who witnessed the string of shootings. He stole a vehicle that was occupied by a woman and child, who managed to escape.

The incident at multiple locations that lasted approximately a half-hour started when the shooter, 54-year-old Javier Casarez, took his ex-wife to T&T Trucking, Inc., on Manwell Boulevard.

"This is the new normal", Youngblood said at a press conference.

A deputy reportedly pulled the suspect over.

Except for the gunman's wife, there was no immediate word on how the victims might have been related.

Youngblood says it's not known if that was the catalyst for the violence. Officers gave chase and the suspect pulled into a business, got out of the vehicle and shot himself, King said.

Investigators aren't sure about a motive, but it appears the former couple had some type of connection to the trucking company, and the shootings appeared well-planned, Youngblood said.

A witness told the Los Angeles Times that the gunman worked at the company and suspected that De Cazarez had been involved with one of his coworkers.

The suspect shot the man before turning the gun on his wife, Youngblood said. Asked if this was a mass shooting, the sheriff said "absolutely".

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