Kern County: Search for "Extremely Violent" Gunman

(FOX 11) At their command post in the town of Weldon, Kern County Deputies admit they know nothing about the man they're chasing, but because of three separate incidents, they're convinced he's violent and extremely dangerous.

Last week, authorities say, the suspect kidnapped three men. Kern County Sheriffs Spokesman Ray Pruitt says the three were "forced into a cabin and held at gunpoint. The suspect threatened to kill them." Pruitt says, after an hour and a half the suspect walked out of the house at which point the victims escaped.

Thursday, the suspect is believed to have killed a retired dentist in a cabin some ten miles away. Saturday, Pruitt says, the suspect shot and wounded two deputies when they went into a trailer to see if the gunman was inside.

Pruitt says the search operation is 24/7, involves dozens of law enforcement officers from Kern County and also the LA County Sheriffs Department.

Says Pruitt, "This is a person who has shown he is not hesitant to engage law enforcement officers and SWAT members in a shootout. We believe he is an extremely dangerous individual."

Authorities have suggested people in the area keep their doors locked. Three schools in the area are closed indefinitely. They are South Fork Elementary, South Fork Middle School and Piute Elementary.

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