News23ABC In-Depth


Southwest Bakersfield shooting suspect had a criminal history, restraining order

Second domestic violence shooting in two months.
Posted: 5:12 PM, Aug 09, 2021
Updated: 2021-08-09 21:07:13-04
Homicide investigation suspect Bryson Blair

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — On Friday a husband allegedly shot and killed his wife and another man at an apartment complex in Southwest Bakersfield. 23ABC learned that the couple had filed for divorce and she had a temporary restraining order against him. It's being called a domestic violence situation with many similarities to a fatal shooting that took place in July in Wasco.

“Domestic violence situations are fraught with danger and if someone is an abuser, a domestic abuser, that is often a sign of trouble for things to come,” explained Kern County District Attorney Joseph Kinzel.

And that is what took place Friday in Southwest Bakersfield when police say Bryson Blair shot and killed his wife, Asia Blair, and the manager of the townhomes, Michael Dobarro.

Bryson Blair's Criminal History

Court records show Bryson Blair has a criminal history as a convicted felon. In 2014 he was charged with inflicting injury to a spouse or cohabitant and was sentenced to 6 months in jail. But he only served half of that due to good behavior.

In 2015 documents show police found a gun in Bryson’s home when they were serving a search warrant for a shooting in the area. He was charged with possession of a firearm and being a domestic violence violator in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

“In 2015, Bryson Blair was arrested and we filed cases for firearms charges involving an assault rifle that was found during a search warrant for his residence,” said Kinzel.

That case was sent to federal court and he was sentenced to 51 months in prison and 36 months of probation.

Then again in 2019 documents show he violated the terms of his release

“In 2019 we had a domestic violence case come up involving Mr. Blair and this obviously had happened after he had been released from federal custody but he was still on essentially federal probation during that time.”

So the Superior Court of Kern once again sent the case to the federal court where Blair was "was sentenced to the maximum under federal law for that case for the violation which was two additional years in custody and one additional year of supervised release.”

Records show he was just released from federal prison this year on February 17th. Then on July 13th his wife Asia, who was killed on Friday, filed for divorce. The next day a restraining order was issued.

In July a man shot and killed three of his family members, as well as a sheriff’s deputy. That man had gun violence restraining order against him as well.

Domestic Violence

23ABC In-Depth

How effective are restraining orders?

Alex Bell, 23ABC
5:14 PM, Jul 27, 2021

At the time of that shooting, Lt. Joel Swanson with the Kern County Sheriff's Office said restraining orders are not perfect, but do give options in court. He also said however they don’t happen often in Kern County.

"Could it happen? Yeah. Does it happen? No," said Lt. Swanson at the time.

Blair is expected to be in court Tuesday.

According to the Kern Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault, there are four types of domestic violence: spiritual abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse, and physical abuse. Physical violence doesn't always start out as deadly but it can lead to death.

Kinzel says that domestic violence often increases over time.

“It is something that I think that everyone needs to keep in mind that a domestic violence incident may seem relatively minor at the time or it may not involve a great amount of force but persons who do commit domestic violence, it is a warning sign for worse things to come."

If you find yourself in a domestic violence situation there are resources available to you. You can call the 24 hour hotline number (661) 327-1091 and it is fully confidential.

Domestic violence isn't just physical. The Kern Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault say you should ask yourself:

Abusive Relationship Questions