RIDGECREST, Calif. (AP) – Sheriff’s officials have confirmed that an armed man who died after being shot by deputies Saturday was the target of a two-week manhunt in a rugged high desert area of central California.
Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said Sunday that Benjamin Peter Ashley was struck by two deputies who tried to stop him as he walked on a rural road toward foothills east of Bakersfield. Youngblood says the 34-year-old was shot after he brandished a handgun. Three other weapons were found on his person and in a backpack.
The sheriff says Ashley may have shot himself after being struck by the deputies’ gunfire. An autopsy is planned for Monday.
Ashley is suspected of killing a retired dentist, taking three men hostage and wounding two deputies during a spree that began July 28.
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