Three people were killed and five hurt in a series of shootings, pistol whippings and carjackings that ended when the suspect killed himself with a shot to the head inside a Wal-Mart, authorities said.
The Ventura County Sheriff's Department identified the gunman as Toby Welchel, 38, whose last known address was in Indiana. The violence began on Monday when three people were shot in the front yard of a home in Thousand Oaks. A woman identified as Jan Heyne, 51, was pronounced dead at the scene, and Steve Mazin, a 52-year-old attorney, died at a hospital. Timothy Heyne, a rock music manager, was in critical condition.
Authorities said Welchel had a business relationship with one of the victims, but they did not elaborate.
The third fatality, a 48-year-old woman, was killed on Tuesday at her home in a separate incident, according to police. Two of her children were among the injured.
After fleeing the first house on Monday, Welchel abandoned his truck and seized another at gunpoint, police said. That truck was found on Tuesday morning, shortly before police received a disturbance call from the woman at a nearby home where Welchel had apparently tried to steal another vehicle.
Sheriff's Deputy Scott Ramirez arrived to find Welchel firing at the woman's husband. The deputy was struck once or twice in the left shoulder area, Sheriff Bob Brooks said.
Ramirez, 30, was hospitalized but was expected to recover. The woman, possibly shot, and two of her children were pistol-whipped, Brooks said.
The woman, identified as Carole Nordella, died from her injuries at a hospital, sheriff's officials said. The children, a 10-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl, were treated for head wounds.
A pool maintenance man, who was beaten for his car, also received hospital treatment.
The suspect was chased by police to the Wal-Mart store in Simi Valley, about 55km northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
About 100 employees and customers were evacuated from the sprawling store as 40 to 50 officers surrounded it. Officers who entered found Welchel dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Brooks said.
Welchel had a criminal record in Florida, Indiana and California, Brooks said.