DEVELOPING STORY: Now-Dead California Rampage Suspect Reportedly Announced Murder On Facebook, Took Hostages And Shot At Police And Motorists During Highway Chase

Sergio Alberto Munoz. Source: Ridgecrest Police Department.

Sergio Alberto Munoz. Source: Ridgecrest Police Department.

DEVELOPING STORY: This may be the bitterest irony of all in the bizarre and chilling story that played out yesterday in the environs of Ridgecrest, Calif: Ridgecrest Mayor Dan Clark reportedly was teaching a class on conflict resolution at Mesquite Continuation High School when all hell broke loose in his normally quiet town of about 27,000 residents and carried over into the Mojave Desert, where it ended in the death of a suspected murderer.

Mesquite’s motto is “Freedom Through Responsibility,” according to its website. It’s a good motto, one that tens and tens of millions of Americans in towns large or small would embrace.

Ridgecrest police have attributed the hours-long hell to Sergio Alberto Munoz, saying they were dispatched at 5:29 a.m. (PDT) to a residence on W. Atkins Ave. after receiving reports of “multiple gunshots” and a “possible homicide.” Officers arrived to find two people shot, including a woman who’d been shot fatally and a man “with multiple gunshot wounds.”

Munoz, 39, was identified as the suspect. The beginnings of a homicide investigation unfolded during the morning hours, as the wounded man was transported to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital. Munoz was not found at the scene.

Police searched for him, apparently while he conjured up even more hell, heralded his crime online, predicted his demise (while assuming it would be glorious) and completed his transition from reputed local drug dealer and user into local madman and terrorist.

At some point after the shootings, according to media accounts, Munoz called police and said he had a “package” for them and would like to have a shootout at the station, but believed he’d be overmatched. Instead, he reportedly said, he’d “wreak havoc” elsewhere. Three to four hours passed before the full extent of the hell that traversed Ridgecrest and crossed into other areas finally would be known.

After the Munoz phone threats, according to media accounts, police began to fear for the safety of the entire town. That’s when schools were locked down. There also was fear that Munoz would go to the hospital to finish off the man he’d allegedly shot earlier.

At some point, a Kern County deputy spotted Munoz in a Dodge sedan. A chase ensued. Police cars followed. Helicopters were dispatched. So was an airplane. Such scenes typically don’t play out in the Ridgecrest area.

From the Los Angeles Times (italics added):

As he drove south on U.S. 395, Munoz fired a shotgun and handgun an estimated 10 to 12 times at oncoming traffic and forced several vehicles off the roadway, [Kern County Sheriff Donny] Youngblood said. At one point, the vehicle pulled over and the trunk opened. Officers saw a man and woman inside, who then appeared to pull the trunk lid closed, the sheriff said.

Youngblood said the presence of people in the trunk “changed the entire dynamic” of the chase.

Several miles later — north of California 58 — Munoz pulled over again and began shooting through the back seat of the sedan into the trunk, Youngblood said. Seven officers from the Sheriff’s Department, the Ridgecrest Police Department and the California Highway Patrol opened fire, killing the gunman, the sheriff said.

The “package” to which Munoz had referred earlier in his menacing call to police appears to have been the man and woman in the trunk. Ridgecrest police described them as “hostages.”

And could any homicidal spree be truly complete these days if not accompanied a hemorrhage of vomit from the suspect on Facebook?

From a story titled “Wild day in Ridgecrest” in the Daily Independent (italics added):

While the chase was going on, Munoz was updating his Facebook page. The posts began shortly after 7 a.m.

He said in three Facebook posts:

“To all friends got tired of cops lieng and putting me in jail xxxx you lucky bitch i haven’t found you just killed 2 snitches xxx and his girl.”

“Also xxxx you wanted me dead … now i will when these pigs find me and like a movie i will go.”

“High speed chase about to go out like a soldier.”

Munoz went out, all right — but not like a soldier. No, he went out like a homicidal maniac who appears to have committed “suicide by police,” after apparently rejecting the brand of freedom the local high school tries to instill in young minds and after apparently licensing himself to be free to deal drugs, murder a woman, shoot a man, shoot at cops, shoot at cars and drivers innocently pursuing their own freedom and shoot at two human beings in the trunk of his car. (At the time of this post, it was unclear whether the individuals in the trunk were deliberately put in the line of fire by Munoz to create a diabolical means by which police accidentally could kill human shields if they engaged Munoz at any point along his route.)

To Munoz, cops apparently were truthless “pigs” who should be executed by shotgun at a time and place he selected. And the other human beings who crossed his path yesterday apparently also were viewed under his particular interpretation of freedom as equally valid candidates for the slaughter.


residents of Ridgecrest and environs are not accustomed to seeing scenes such as this: Source: Facebook/The Daily Independent

Residents of Ridgecrest and environs are not accustomed to seeing scenes such as this: Source: Facebook/The Daily Independent

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One Response to “DEVELOPING STORY: Now-Dead California Rampage Suspect Reportedly Announced Murder On Facebook, Took Hostages And Shot At Police And Motorists During Highway Chase”

  1. Also in California yesterday: Parolee allegedly shoots police officers, federal agent; surrenders after stand off at home he allegedly invaded



    The federal immigration officer was shot in the leg as he and other officers made initial contact at about 3 p.m. with Duran, a wanted parolee, Roseville police Lt. Cal Walstad said.

    During a later exchange of gunfire, after Duran fled, two Roseville police officers were hit by gunshots — one in the jaw and the other in the shoulder — and a third officer sustained shrapnel wounds from rounds that hit near them, Walstad said.