Five people were killed, including a sheriff’s deputy, in the wake of a domestic violence call and standoff that turned deadly in rural Southern California, authorities said Monday.
A 911 call was made at 1 p.m. Sunday reporting that an armed man who was the target a restraining order showed up at a home in Wasco, outside Bakersfield and about 140 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood told reporters.
Screaming and shots could be heard on that 911 call and a woman fleeing the home at 1718 First St. told responding deputies that at least two people inside had been shot, Youngblood said.
The 41-year-old suspect then barricaded himself in the home and an hourslong standoff ensued.
After calling for backup and surrounding the home, Deputies Phillip Campas, 35, and Dizander Guerrero approached and were shot, Youngblood said.
Campas later died at the hospital while Guererro was treated and released. Two other deputies were wounded by flying shrapnel.
Then at 6:28 p.m., the suspect, armed with an AK-47 rifle and a handgun, got on to the home’s roof where he was killed by deputies, according to Youngblood.
Inside the house, deputies found three dead — a woman, 42, and two males, 24 and 17. The two male victims were sons of the shooter and the woman was their mother, the sheriff said.
“Had there not been other people in this house, we’d probably still be there doing what we do, and that’s wait until the suspect decides he’s had enough,” Youngblood said.
“We believed … that there was people that were alive in there that needed to be rescued and I think we were correct in that assumption.”
Campas was a five-year veteran of the department and was a Marine veteran who served in Afghanistan.
He’s survived by a wife and two young children.
The slain deputy was not formally identified until late Monday morning.
“We just felt like it was appropriate to wait till today to name him,” Youngblood said as his voice cracked with emotion. “I was there when the wife and the mother and the father … we just felt like we needed to wait.”
Wasco Mayor Alex Garcia had the flags at City Hall lowered in honor of the fallen deputy and three other victims.
“Nothing can prepare us for tragedies such as these,” Garcia said in statement. “In an instant our lives can change forever.”
In addition to his normal patrol duties, Campas was on the SWAT team, on the honor guard and taught at the academy. Youngblood said he and his command staff were stunned that Campas had only been on the job for five years.
“We thought he had been here over 10 years, he’s had that kind of impact,” Youngblood said. “He probably touched this organization as much as anyone that I’ve ever seen in such a short period of time.”
Kurt Chirbas contributed.