5 killed, including deputy, during California hostage standoff

Photo: Gephardt Daily

July 26 (UPI) — Five people, including a sheriff’s deputy, were killed amid a multi-hour standoff with a gunman who had barricaded himself with family members within a southern California residence, officials said.

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood told reporters Monday that Dep. Phillip Campas was killed and another SWAT team member was injured by gunfire during a standoff that began Sunday afternoon at a residence in Wasco, Calif., located about 24 miles northwest of Bakersfield.

The suspect, a 41-year-old man, climbed atop the roof of the house and exchanged fire with police using an AK-47 assault rifle and a handgun before being killed by SWAT team members five hours after the siege began, Youngblood said.

Inside the residence, police found three people dead, identified as the suspect’s sons, ages 24 and 17, and a 42-year-old woman identified as their mother.

The suspect was under a restraining order prohibiting him from possessing firearms, the sheriff said, adding that two women and two girls were able to escape the house unharmed.

Youngblood said the slain deputy was a former U.S. Marine and Afghanistan war veteran.

“We send our prayers to Deputy Campas’ family and friends,” the Kings County Deputy Sheriff’s Association said in a statement on its Facebook page.

The sheriff said the standoff began at about 1 p.m. when officers were deployed to a home in the 100 block of 1st Street after receiving a call about shots fired.

While officers were en route, further calls came in concerning possible shooting victims in the residence with the sound of shots and screaming being fired heard across the line, he said.

Upon arriving at the house, the suspect began to fire on the officers, killing Campas and injuring Deputy Dizander Guerrero, who was treated for his injuries and released from a hospital.

The siege ended after five hours with the suspect’s death.

Wasco Mayor Alex Garcia in a statement said his heart goes out the families of both deputies.

“Nothing can prepare us for tragedies such as these. In an instant our lives can change forever,” he said. “I pray that God surrounds these families with his love and gives them the strength to make it through this devastating time.”


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