Fri, Sep 14, 2018 - Page 7 News List

California man shoots dead five, commits suicide

‘THE NEW NORMAL’:The man killed his wife and a man at a trucking company, a witness and a couple at their house in the US’ third-deadliest shooting this year

AFP, LOS ANGELES

A man on Wednesday went on a shooting rampage in California, killing five people, including his wife, before taking his own life.

The shooting at multiple locations in Bakersfield was possibly “a domestic violence incident,” said Lieutenant Mark King of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.

Police received their first call at 5:19pm before responding to the first location, a trucking company, where the rampage began.

Three people were killed there and the shooter, armed with a large caliber handgun, fled.

Sheriff Donny Youngblood told reporters that the suspect first shot a man at the trucking company and then killed his own wife.

He chased a person who had witnessed the shooting and also killed that person.

He then fled and shot a couple at a house.

Police then received a call from a woman who said she had been carjacked, King said.

Officers gave chase and the suspect pulled into a business, got out of the car and shot himself, he said.

Police were investigating five scenes and interviewing about 30 witnesses to determine what triggered the rampage, King said, adding that the names of the victims have not been released, but they were all from the Bakersfield area.

“We don’t believe anyone else was involved and the only suspect was accounted for,” King said.

Youngblood said the officer who confronted the suspect after the carjacking wore a body camera, but the footage has not been released.

“Obviously, these are not random shootings,” Youngblood said, while denying that such mass shooting were “the new normal.”

It was the latest chapter of the US’ epidemic of gun violence.

Americans make up only 4 percent of the global population, but they own 40 percent of the world’s firearms, according to a study published by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Swizerland.

Of the 857 million guns owned by civilians, 393 million are in the US — more than all of the firearms held by ordinary citizens in the other top 25 countries combined, according to the Small Arms Survey.

According to Gun Violence Archive, the mass shooting in Bakersfield is the third-deadliest in the US this year after a shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida, in February that left 17 people dead and one at a school in Santa Fe, Texas, in May that left 10 people dead.

The shootings have drawn impassioned pleas for stricter gun control.

Following the Parkland shooting, teenage activists, many of them friends of the victims, galvanized a movement for gun control by organizing marches and school walkouts that kept the issue in the headlines for weeks.

The outrage prompted Florida to pass the first gun control measure in the state in 20 years.

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