Suspect In Banning Fatal Shooting Spree Identified

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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

BANNING, Calif. – Police on Sunday identified the suspect arrested in the shootings deaths of two people in an apparently random rampage in the Southern California city of Banning. James Paul Diaz, 34, of Hemet, was arrested and booked for investigation of two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and other charges stemming from Saturday’s shooting spree, police said in a statement. “At this point, in my heart, I believe this was just something random,” he said. “We are pretty sure this is the only suspect involved in the random shootings.” Authorities on Saturday responded to reports of gunfire in a string of incidents in the city near Palm Springs, California that killed two people and injured three including a shooting that killed a driver and injured a passenger, a car-to-car shooting that caused a minor injury and an assault at a gas station. Police detailed the man’s suspected criminal acts at a 5 p.m. press conference on Saturday, where they said they were dealing with 4 to 5 different crime scenes.

The attack, which occurred within a span of an hour on Saturday, appears to be random, and investigators are trying to determine a motive, Police Chief Alex Diaz said. Within an hour, police in the nearby city of Beaumont fielded calls about a man knocking on people’s doors looking for his children and breaking the window of a vehicle occupied by a woman and her children, Diaz said. The rash of violence continued as the gunman made his way to an AM/PM convenience store near the 22nd Street freeway exit and assaulted a man with his fists and a blunt object around 11:53 a.m.

People in the neighborhood saw the arrest. “I came out and I just seen him standing around in the car over here with all four doors open,” said William Burns, a Banning resident. “I guess they already had him in custody. Saturday when officers responding to a report of shots fired in the 700 block of East John Street found the body of a male gunshot victim, police said. Less than 10 minutes later, officers were dispatched on an assault-with-a-deadly weapon call at an AM/PM gas station at the intersection of 22nd and Ramsey streets, police said. About an hour after police announced that a suspect had been caught, tensions rose again when police received reports that someone with a gun was threatening customers at an Arco gas station convenience store along the freeway in Banning.

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