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Calif. murder suspect leads police on wild chase, is shot dead by authorities

Authorities responding to the scene of an alleged shooting spree and pursuit in Kern County, Calif., Friday, Oct. 25, 2013.
CBS Los Angeles

Updated 5:27 p.m. EST

(CBS/AP) RIDGECREST, Calif. - A murder suspect was killed by police on a Mojave Desert highway following a shooting incident and a high speed pursuit in which the man fired at vehicles and two hostages in the trunk of his car, California authorities say.

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said the suspect called Ridgecrest police early Friday and said he wanted to come to the department and shoot officers but because police had too many guns he would wreak havoc elsewhere.

In the phone call, the man also said he had a package he wanted to deliver to police, according to the sheriff. It was unclear if a package was found.

Later in the morning, according to CBS Los Angeles, deputies responded to assist Ridgecrest police with a reported assault with a deadly weapon and a pursuit, with authorities saying a suspect had shot and killed a woman.

Nearly two hours later a sheriff's deputy spotted the suspect's car. The suspect fired at least 10 times from inside his black Dodge Dart, and tried to run vehicles off the road. No motorists were hurt, Youngblood said.

At one point during the chase, which lasted more than 40 minutes, the suspect pulled over and the car's trunk popped open, revealing a man and woman inside. They appeared to shut the trunk, the sheriff said.

At the end, the man pulled over again on U.S. 395 and began shooting into the trunk. As many as seven officers opened fire, killing the gunman.

The hostages were flown to a hospital. Their condition was unknown.

Back at the original crime scene in the city of Ridgecrest, about 150 miles north of Los Angeles, a woman was found dead and a man was wounded, Youngblood said.

The suspect apparently knew all of the victims, he said. Authorities have not discussed a possible motive in the case.

There was some information that the suspect was using Facebook during the pursuit, but it wasn't immediately clear what the postings were, Youngblood said.

Investigators say they recovered a shotgun and a handgun.

Schools in Ridgecrest were placed on lockdown as a precaution but were later reopened.

The city of about 27,000 people is adjacent to the vast Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, which sprawls over more than 1,700 square miles of desert.

Ridgecrest Mayor Dan Clark called the incident disturbing, especially because the small city is relatively crime free.

  • Stephanie Slifer

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