BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — (UPDATE SEPT. 23) Following a postmortem examination, KCSO determined the cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds and the manner was homicide.
(UPDATE SEPT. 21) The Kern County Coroner's Officer identified Darren Anthony Thomas, 28, of Los Angeles as the man shot and killed outside of Basham Funeral Care in East Bakersfield last week.
There was a massive response by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, following reports of a shooting in east Bakersfield.
The call came into KCSO just before noon, causing a commotion on the 3300 block of Niles Street.
“Our driver ran in and said that there was a shooting across the street and so we all kinda ran outside to see what was going on and there were all kinds of sheriffs on the road," said an employee at Rusty's Pizza Parlor.
Rusty’s is just across the street from Basham Funeral Care located on the 3300 block of Niles Street in east Bakersfield, the scene of a deadly shooting Thursday afternoon. A shooting that prompted an enormous response from law enforcement.
“Deputies arrived and located one victim down in the parking lot. That victim was the apparent victim of a gunshot and he was pronounced deceased at the scene,” said Lt. Joel Swanson of the Kern County Sheriff's Office.
KCSO described the victim as a 28-year-old black man but could not give any further details about his identity. No other victims and now suspects were found according to the agency.
“We believe at this point that there were possibly two shooters who were involved in this incident, and we are working this as a gang homicide,” said Swanson.
Authorities tell 23ABC a funeral service was happening at Basham at the time of the shooting, and they say the victim appeared to be attending the service. KCSO investigators are trying to determine whether the man who was killed was the intended target or not.
“I believe that there are multiple people who know who the shooter is in this case. If they would come forward that would absolutely help us out,” explained Swanson.
As of now, sheriff investigators said they have no witness statements so far, and they have no video surveillance at the moment, so any additional info from the public would be a great help with their investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to call KCSO at (661) 861-3110.