1 Dead, 1 Arrested in Apparently Random Shootings in City

27 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

1 dead, 1 arrested in apparently random shootings in city.

BANNING, Calif. (AP) — A man was arrested Saturday on suspicion of going on a violent spree in the Southern California city of Banning that left at least one person dead and three others injured, police said.People in Banning and next-door Beaumont tried to make sense Saturday evening after a day of random carnage that left two people dead, others injured and a suspect in custody.

BANNING >> At least two people were dead Saturday, three others were injured and an unidentified man was in custody after a series of random shootings, authorities said. “We don’t know what his state of mind is,” Police Chief Alex Diaz said about the gunman at a news conference later Saturday. “We don’t know what the motive of the attacks was. The incidents began about 11:30 a.m. with a shooting near John Street and Hargrave Avenue in Banning, followed by a non-fatal shooting, an assault at a gas station and the discovery of a man with gunshot wounds in a crashed car. Hopefully, we’ll get some closure for the families that were victimized today.” The shooting attacks appear to have started just after 11:30 a.m. in the 700 block of John Street, where a male body was found inside a vehicle, according to police accounts. By late Saturday afternoon, the communities were marked by islands of yellow police tape filled with detectives, uniformed officers and forensic investigators. Johnny Fultz, 37, and his wife Jessica, 27, were taking a walk downtown with their 2-year-old son Johnny and 1-month-old daughter Jordana on Saturday night.

Jessica said they had heard some activity with police cars racing around town and news helicopters flying overhead but only discovered what the commotion was about after going online before going out for their walk. In Beaumont, Paul Mendoza had just come home from shopping when he and his daughter, Lilly, 10, noticed something strange in front their house on Eighth Street. Next, someone matching that description shot at a car at 11:43 a.m. at San Gorgonio Avenue and Nicolet Street, about a mile west and north from the first scene. In the neighborhood at John and Hargrave Streets, where the first fatal shooting took place, neighbors gathered in small knots to discuss what happened. A short time after police arrived at the Lincoln Street scene, police in Beaumont received calls about a man going door to door saying he was looking for his children.

Some expressed dismay at how many versions of the story there were, with the incident only a few hours and one block away from where they were standing. With help from witnesses, the California Highway Patrol, Beaumont police and Riverside County sheriff’s deputies searched for the man, which led to his arrest in Beaumont. “I have never seen anything like this and I have to tell you, it was pretty scary,” said Michael Pelegrin, a clerk at the am/pm at 780 E. Ramsey St., who tried to help someone who may have been among the first victims of the gunman. “She looked frantic and looked scared,” he said. “I could tell it had been a shooting because there were bullet holes in the window and she had blood on her face from the shattered glass.” Pelegrin had a second shock soon after police and medical personnel arrived when an officer told the clerk that a victim had been shot and killed a short distance from his home.

The shooting on John Street that killed one man and injured another was just east of Hargrave Street and south of I-10, across from a double set of railroad tracks that parallel the freeway.

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