Six people are dead after a mass shooting at a trucking business and five other locations in Bakersfield, California.
Javier Cazarez has been named as the gunman who shot five people in a mass shooting spread out over multiple locations in Bakersfield, California.
The Sheriff’s Department identified the victims as Manuel Contreras, 50, the first victim; Petra Maribel Bolanos De Cazarez, 45, the second victim; Antonio Valadez, 50, the third victim; Laura Garcia, 31, the fourth victim; and Eliseo Garcia, 56, the fifth victim. The Los Angeles Times reported that the motive might involve a “love triangle” between Javier Cazarez, his wife, Petra, and a co-worker.
The sheriff said that Cazarez and his estranged wife were in the middle of divorce proceedings.
In a press conference, the Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said that, at about 5:20 p.m. on September 12, 2018, deputies responded to the trucking business near Bear Mountain Sports to reports of shots fired. They learned that a husband and ex-wife showed up at the trucking business to confront a man at the business. The husband shot and killed the victim at the trucking business. He then killed his ex-wife, authorities say. Thirty witnesses need to be interviewed, the sheriff said. “This is the new normal,” the sheriff said of the mass shooting.
“It’s highly unusual to have six people killed in one incident,” the sheriff said. “It was a very short period of time, maybe 10-15 minutes.” Minimally, a handgun was involved, he said.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Suspect & His Estranged Wife Showed Up at the Trucking Business Together, Authorities Say
Another person showed up at the scene after the suspect killed his wife, but the suspect killed that person outside the trucking business, the sheriff said of the chaotic and deadly sequence of events. Youngblood presented this account of what allegedly happened. According to the sheriff: The suspect left the area and went to a residence and confronted two more people, where he shot both of them. He then hijacked a vehicle with a woman and child in it. He took that vehicle and drove to Edison Highway, where a deputy saw him and confronted him. The suspect put the gun to his chest and killed himself. The child and woman were not killed.
“We have six people dead, five victims and one suspect,” Youngblood said. “Obviously there’s some type of situation that caused the husband to be extremely upset.” However, authorities said they are still investigating the specific motive for the mass shooting. You can watch Youngblood’s press conference here:
There were firearms recovered. “It happened rather quickly of course,” Youngblood said. The suspect went with his wife together to the business to confront the man, he added.
“The wife’s dead,” Youngblood said. “We need to find out where this started…obviously these are not random shootings.” However, he later said the suspect and his wife had been divorced for four months.
No minors were involved that authorities know of. “Five victims are deceased, and the suspect is also deceased,” he repeated.