A California husband who fatally shot five people, including his ex-wife, in a deadly rampage thought she had been cheating on him, divorce documents reveal.
Javier Casarez, 54, opened fire at an East Bakersfield trucking company on Wednesday evening killing his ex Petra Maribel Bolanos De Casarez and two workers identified as Antonio Valdez and Manuel Contreras.
Casarez filed for divorce from Bolanos last year because he thought she was cheating on him, ABC 23 reports. Casarez asked the judge to give him access to Bolanos’ text messages, but the request was denied.
The divorce was finalized in June, but they were due back in court after Bolanos filed for an unspecified change in orders involving child support and property.
Gunman Javier Casarez (left) and his ex-wife Petra Maribel Bolanos De Casarez (right) had divorced months before he fatally shot her
Antonio Valadez, 50, was the third man killed in Wednesday’s deadly rampage
Laura Garcia, 32, and her father Eliseo Cazares, 57, were shot dead in their home on Wednesday by gunman Javier Casarez
The couple had three children together. A GoFundMe set up to help with funeral expenses said they left behind a total of six kids.
Ken County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said during a press conference that the rampage on Wednesday began around 5.15pm when Casarez accompanied by his ex-wife went to T&T Trucking in East Bakersfield, California.
Police said Casarez may have forced his ex-wife, 45, to accompany him to a trucking business.
‘When they got there they confronted an employee of the T&T Trucking by the name of Antonio Valdez. The husband pulled a large caliber handgun and shot him to death. He then turned the gun on his wife and shot her,’ Youngblood said.
A third person, Contreras, witnessed the shooting and fled as Casarez shot at him.
Youngblood said Casarez got in his vehicle and drove around until he found Contreras, 50, at a nearby sporting goods store. He then opened fire, shooting and killing the man.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT
Bodycam video taken by police shows the dramatic moment that a gunman who killed five people on a rampage in central California on Wednesday took his own life
The video shows Kern County Sheriff’s deputies pointing their automatic rifles at Javier Casarez as he stood near a white SUV in what appeared to be a parking lot in Bakersfield on Wednesday
The gunman is seen aiming his gun at himself while a cop yells at him to drop it. He fired a single shot to his stomach
Police said after killing Contreras, Casarez got back into his car and drove to a residence where he gunned down 32-year-old Laura Garcia and her 57-year-old father, Eliseo Cazares.
‘We believe (Laura) may have tried to intervene to keep the suspect from approaching her father and he shot and killed both of them,’ Youngblood said.
According to police, Casarez went to another address where he carjacked a mom with her baby. He reportedly told the woman he was not a bad person before leaving the area and driving to the parking lot of a store where he was confronted by police.
Police are still investigating the motive for the shootings. Casarez, 54, is seen in the above mug shot
Casarez shot fatally shot himself as officers yelled for him to drop his weapon.
Officials believe the rampage was sparked by a domestic violence incident, but don’t know specifically what set him off.
Youngblood said Thursday that detectives were looking into whether Bolanos may have been in relationships with Contreras or Valdez.
‘It appears that the suspect targeted each of his victims,’ Youngblood said.
After killing his victims, Casarez was confronted by officers in the parking lot of a store where he shot himself in the stomach. His fatal shooting was caught on police bodycam, which was released earlier on Thursday.
The video shows Kern County Sheriff’s deputies pointing their automatic rifles at Casarez as he stood near a white SUV in what appeared to be a parking lot in Bakersfield.
As the deputy moves closer to Casarez, the cop yells to him: ‘Put the gun down!’
Casarez is heard saying something to the deputy, though it is unclear what it was he said.
The body of Antonio Valadez, 50 years old, lies beneath a sheet outside Bear Mountain Sports, where he was shot
The spree began at 5.17pm at the trucking company (1) where the gunman opened fire, killing his ex-wife
He resisted deputies’ repeated demands that he drop the weapon as the police sirens wailing in the background add to the tense moments.
Casarez then stops talking to the deputies and turns his body away from them, showing only his back.
At that point, Casarez takes his gun and shoots himself in the stomach, crumpling to the ground after he pulls the trigger.
The deputy and his partner then approach Casarez as he lies on the ground.
The deputy wearing the bodycam checks the SUV, which has one of its doors open, while the other deputy keeps an eye on Casarez.
The video was released hours after the five victims involved in the horrifying mass shooting were identified.
Garcia had several young children. Her family paid tribute to her on social media on Thursday.
‘If everyone can keep my cousins kids in their prayers I’d really appreciate it!
‘People are so cruel and you didn’t deserve this!’ her cousin Alondra Ortega said.
Youngblood said the mass shooting had become ‘the new normal’ around the country.
‘Six people lost their lives in a very short amount of time. This is the new normal.’