Man who went on deadly shooting spree in Ridgecrest identified as Sergio Alberto Munoz

2 people removed from trunk

RIDGECREST, Calif. - Ridgecrest Police have identified the man who went on a deadly shooting spree as 39-year-old Sergio Alberto Munoz of Ridgecrest.

Munoz shot one man and killed a pregnant woman during the rampage, and injured two others, officials said.

Munoz was killed during the incident in gunfire with deputies, Ridgecrest Mayor Dan Clark said.

According to the Associated Press, Dawn Meier, a sister of one of the survivors, says Munoz was a heroin dealer, and wanted to eliminate the snitches.

Meier also says of one of the victims that was shot by Munoz said her brother, Thaddeus Wilburn Meier, was at Loma Linda Hospital with internal bleeding.

Kern County Sheriffs' coroner confirmed that the woman who was shot and killed was named Brittany Matheny, 22, of Ridgecrest.

Ridgecrest Police Department officers said Munoz took several people hostage then went on a shooting spree the Mojave desert city.

At about 5:30 a.m., KCSO public information officer Ray Pruitt said that officers tried stopping the driver of a car in the area of Kramer Junction who was wanted on a warrant charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

California Highway Patrol spokesman Vaughn Cain said that officers spotted the man on China Lake Boulevard and were trying to stop him as he was suspected in a homicide investigation.

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said that the suspect called the Ridgecrest Police Department and said he wanted to shoot all the officers in the police department but said they had too many guns. The man then told them he had a package for them and wanted to, "wreak havoc."

Pruitt said the man took off and started shooting at officers. Pruitt said the man even started shooting at random people on the streets.

Youngblood said that Munoz was driving down the road shooting out of the vehicle with a shotgun and handgun.

Youngblood said that during the chase, the man pulled over several times and the trunk of the vehicle was opened. Officers said they were able to see at least two people in the trunk of the vehicle.

The man at times was posting on Facebook while driving, Youngblood said during a press conference.

During the exchange of gun fire, deputies said they struck the man, and killed him.

Schools in Ridgecrest were placed on lockdown as a precaution, but the lockdown was lifted at about 8:20 a.m.

Senior Deputy Michael Whorf  said the chase lasted for about an hour and ended on Highway 395, about 8 miles north of Highway 58.

California Highway Patrol Officer Darlena Dotson said the highway was closed from Kramer Junction for 10 miles north because of the investigation.

Youngblood said that there were two people in the trunk of the car that were removed after the shootout and taken to Antelope Valley Hospital.

The city of about 27,000 people is 150 miles north of Los Angeles, adjacent to the vast Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, which sprawls over more than 1,700 square miles of desert.

U.S. 395 runs through the western Mojave below the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada.

The Ridgecrest Police Department is handling the homicide investigation and the Kern County Sheriff's Department is investigating the officer-involved shooting and pursuit investigation.
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