Shooter, 2 victims in Central California shooting identified

Oct. 26, 2013 at 8:58 PM
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RIDGECREST, Calif., Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Police in California have identified a man they said killed a woman and wounded a man, and then was shot and killed by police after warning he would shoot more.

The gunman -- identified as Sergio Munoz, 39 -- shot and killed Brittany Matheny, 22, and wounded Thaddeus Meier at a house in Ridgecrest, east of Bakersfield, about 5 a.m. PDT Friday, and then warned he would "wreak havoc" in the community, the Kern County Sheriff's said Saturday in a news release.

Munoz called a Ridgecrest police officer's cellphone and said he would come to a police station and "kill all the officers but they had too many guns," Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said.

Officers from the Ridgecrest Police Department and the California Highway Patrol joined the sheriff's department in the chase of Munoz.

A county sheriff's deputy saw Munoz's car about 2 hours after the shooting in Ridgecrest and tried to pull it over but Munoz drove away with the deputy in pursuit. At one point, he started shooting at police and civilian traffic, using a shotgun and a handgun, police said.

When he pulled over and popped the trunk lid, police saw a man and a woman in the trunk, which Youngblood said "changed the entire dynamic" of the chase.

A short time later, police said, Munoz started shooting through the vehicle's rear seat into the trunk -- and police opened fire, shooting and killing him.

The two people in the trunk -- whose names were not reported -- were hospitalized for treatment of what police described as major injuries resulting from numerous gunshot wounds. It was not known when or where they had been shot, the sheriff's department said.

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