One police officer was killed and another was injured amid a multi-hour standoff with a gunman who had barricaded himself with two hostages within a southern California residence, officials said.
Kern County Sheriff Lt. Joel Swanson told reporters during a Sunday evening press conference that the standoff began that afternoon at a residence in Wasco, a city about 24 miles northwest of Bakersfield, and came to an end at 6:28 p.m. when officers shot the suspect, who has since been transported to a local hospital. His condition was unknown.
Swanson said two officers were shot during the standoff, one sustaining moderate injuries and the other major. The Kings County Deputy Sheriff’s Association later Sunday announced one of the officers had died and identified him as Kern County deputy Phillip Campas.
“We send our prayers to deputy Campas’ family and friends,” the association said in a statement on its Facebook page.
Swanson 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 being fired heard across the line, he said.
Upon arriving at the house, the suspect began to fire on the officers who took cover, he said, adding that SWAT was deployed at about 2:50 p.m.
“As our SWAT team was approaching the residence, the suspect began firing at them from inside the residence,” he said. “Two of our deputies were struck.”
The standoff came to an end when officers entered the house and shot the suspect.
“We are still attempting to clear the house to check on the victims inside of the residence. I do not have their status at this point,” he said, adding that two victims were shot inside.
Wasco Mayor Alex Garcia in a statement said his heart goes out the 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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