A series of shootings Monday in a small lakeside Northern California
community killed two people and injured two others, including a police officer, authorities said.
It’s unclear what prompted the shootings in Clearlake Oaks or whether the gunman knew any of the victims, Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin said.
Alan Ashmore, 61, of Clearlake Oaks, was arrested about 30 minutes after the first report of gunfire.
A California Highway Patrol officer was shot in his body armor while pursuing the gunman and was treated and released from a hospital. The other victim was expected to survive, Martin said.
“We don’t know whether the shootings were all targeted, if they were random or if they were a combination,” Martin said.
Two men died in separate shootings outside of homes, Martin said. The injured person also was struck at a residence.
More gunfire erupted at two gas stations, including one where the shooter allegedly exchanged fire with someone licensed to carry a concealed weapon
. Neither was injured.
Pat Kelly, 52, of Clearlake Oaks said he was at a Chevron station near the post office
when he saw a sport utility vehicle screech to a halt and a gunman jumped out and stormed the gas station store.
“Oh, there was eight to 10 or a dozen gunshots in rapid succession,” Kelly told the San Francisco Chronicle . “There was another guy parked behind me. He was hiding behind his gas pump, and I was hiding behind my gas pump.”
Kelly said he got back into his car, sped away and went to another gas station about a mile away, only to find the shooter was there.
“He was parked right there shooting that gas station up,” Kelly said.
After a pursuit and roadblock, the suspect was taken into custody. Investigators believe he started a fire in vegetation as he tried to flee, Martin said.
Authorities investigated a report that Ashmore had opened fire at a winery, but Martin said he wielded a gun without firing.
Martin initially reported that three people were injured including the CHP officer. But he later revised the count.
Clearlake Oaks is a small community on the shore of Clear Lake about 115 miles northeast of San Francisco.