Authorities in California have released dramatic body camera and surveillance footage showing a deadly police standoff that left five people dead, including a sheriff’s deputy.
The hostage situation began unfolding just after 1pm on July 25 in Wasco, California, when deputies with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office responded to a home on 1st Street for numerous reports of a gunman shooting people inside his home during a domestic violence situation.
Over the next five-and-a-half hours, the suspect, identified as 41-year-old Jose Manuel Ramirez Jr, allegedly shot and killed his wife, Vivian Ramirez, 42, their sons, Jose Ramirez III, 24, and Angel Ramirez, 17, and Kern County Sheriff’s Deputy Phillip Campas.
The Kern County Sheriff’s Office has released body camera and security video from a July 25 hostage situation, during which suspect Jose Ramirez Jr, 41, shot and killed four people, including his wife and two sons. One of the shootings is pictured above
Deputies responded to the home in Wasco, California, after getting 911 calls about a shooting in progress stemming from a domestic conflict
The shooting also injured another deputy, who has since recovered.
SWAT officers killed Ramirez Jr after he climbed onto the roof of his house, bringing the standoff to a close just before 6.30pm.
Video and 911 audio recordings released by the sheriff’s office on Thursday paint a detailed and vivid picture of how the hostage situation unfolded, beginning at 1.05pm when deputies arrived on the scene and were immediately shot at by the gunman.
The deputies ran for cover and set up a perimeter around the suspect’s house before requesting backup from the SWAT team and additional units.
‘Unbeknownst to responding deputies, prior to their arrival, the suspect had already shot and killed his two sons, and his wife,’ according to the sheriff’s account.
Video from a neighbor’s surveillance camera showed Ramirez Jr chasing one of his sons and shooting him to death as he tried to escape.
Vivian Ramirez, 42, who owned a photography business, had been shot before police responded to the scene
Jose Manuel Ramirez III, 24 (left), and Angel Ramirez, 17 (right), were both fatally shot by their father, according to the sheriff’s office
As deputies and SWAT team members surrounded the home, Ramirez Jr made several 911 calls, requesting an ambulance.
‘Why do you need an ambulance?’ the dispatcher asks the caller.
‘Because my son is on the floor. He got shot,’ Ramirez Jr replies.
‘Who shot him?’ the dispatcher asks.
‘I don’t know,’ the gunman says.
Ramirez Jr refused to reveal where his son had been shot, or where he is located before hanging up.
Ramirez Jr opened fire on SWAT officers as they tried to approach the house, wounding two of them
Deputy Phillip Campas succumbed to his injuries. Campas was a retired US Marine and father of two young girls who served Kern County on Patrol, SWAT and Honor Guard
The SWAT team issued commands in both English and Spanish, ordering Ramirez Jr to peacefully surrender, but he refused to lay down his weapons and come out with his hands up.
Believing that there were injured victims inside the home, the SWAT team approached the residence to try and rescue them, prompting Ramirez Jr to unleash a barrage of gunfire at them.
The officers returned fire. Two of them were hit by the suspect’s bullets and two others were struck by shrapnel.
The two wounded deputies were pulled to safety by their colleagues and were rushed to an area hospital, where Campas succumbed to his injuries.
More than five hours into the standoff, Ramirez Jr climbed onto the roof of the house to continue shooting at officers
One of the officers on the scene opened fire on Ramirez Jr and fatally shot him. His weapons are circled in red
Ramirez Jr was armed with an AK-47-style rifle at the time of his death
The 42-year-old also had this handgun in his possession, which officials say he used to shoot at least one of his sons
Campas was a retired US Marine and father of two young girls who served Kern County on Patrol, SWAT and Honor Guard.
Senior Deputy Dizander Guerrero was treated for gunshot wounded and later released.
The rest of the SWAT team remained at the scene of the standoff and attempted to communicate with Ramirez Jr, who continued firing rounds at the officers from inside the house, according to the official account.
At 6.28pm, the gunman emerged from the house and began climbing onto the roof while carrying an AK-47-style rifle and a handgun, according to the sheriff’s office.
One of the officer on the scene opened fire on the suspect and he was struck. Ramirez Jr was pronounced dead at the scene.
Deputies then entered the home and found Ramirez Jr’s wife and one of his sons dead inside, and his other son dead in the side yard.
Court records show that Ramirez Jr faced two misdemeanor charges of battery to a spouse and willful cruelty to a child.
Family members said Ramirez Jr was in and out of jail, and on June 3 a protective order was issued against him, which barred him from owning firearms.
Less than three weeks prior, Ramirez Jr was released from probation, reported BakersfieldNow.com.