LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities have identified the gunman involved in a California standoff that killed a sheriff’s deputy and three others who were held hostage in a San Joaquin Valley home.
The shooter, identified Tuesday as Jose Manuel Ramirez Jr., was fatally shot by Kern County sheriff’s deputies. He had a history of arrests on domestic violence offenses and a restraining order was supposed to have prohibited him from having guns and approaching the home where the attack occurred Sunday in Wasco, a small community in the middle of farm fields northwest of Bakersfield.
(Editor’s note: This story includes discussion of domestic violence. If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).)
The sheriff’s office has not said what led to the deadly shootings or the specifics of the 41-year-old’s previous arrests. He had been armed with an AK-47 style rifle and a handgun on Sunday.
The county coroner identified the victims who were held hostage inside the home as Ramirez’s sons, 24-year-old Jose Manuel Ramirez III and 17-year-old Angel Manuel Ramirez, and their mother, Viviana Ruiz Ramirez, 42. Autopsies are pending.
Sheriff’s Deputy Phillip Campas, 35, was also fatally shot by Ramirez. Another deputy survived his gunshot wounds.
Two women and two girls, believed to be acquaintances of the victims, were able to escape the home safely.
Ruiz Ramirez had filed the restraining order — effective June 3 — against Ramirez, but authorities have not disclosed what prompted her to do so.
The shooting “has the implications of what we see in law enforcement when it comes to domestic violence and how serious it is,” Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said Monday, “and, quite frankly, how a restraining order is not bulletproof.”