2 dead: Calif. police detain man in seemingly random shootings

27 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2 dead, 2 hurt after Banning shooting spree.

Two people were killed and others wounded Saturday afternoon when a gunman drove through the town of Banning on what appears to have been a random rampage, Riverside County authorities said.While the motive for the spree remains murky, police note that the man they have taken into custody has repeatedly asked about the location of his children. CBS2’s Laurie Perez was at that news conference where police said they were dealing “with 4-5 different crime scenes.” Police said they first got a call, around 11:35 a.m., saying there were reports of a shooting with a dead man in a 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.

While juggling the first two crime scenes, Banning police were called to the ARCO AM/PM station on Ramsey Street at about 12 p.m., where a man had been beaten up in his car by a man using a gun as a weapon. 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.

During the chaos of the attacks, police asked parent volunteers at the nearby Nicolet Middle School’s youth program to conduct an informal lockdown of the 45 students inside, Diaz said. 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.

A man was found dead in the vehicle, but Diaz said police have not determined if he was killed in the crash or as the result of an attack due to the damage caused in the crash. 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. In the neighboring city of Beaumont, Police Chief Sean Thuilliez said his department was notified of the shooting and started getting reports at 12:22 p.m. of a man knocking on doors in the area of American and Eighth and asking if people had seen his kids.

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. Detectives and forensic investigators worked into the early evening at the site, where a red car was shielded� from onlookers by a yellow plastic sheet. On Lincoln Street, police taped off a block-long stretch of road Saturday afternoon as they investigated the crash there and tried to determine whether it was related to the shootings. “I heard gunfire, a car screeching, and now that I think about it, a crash,” Chafey said as she walked with her dog Angel, an aging German shepherd, toward the yellow police tape.

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