18-Day Manhunt Over As Deputies Shoot And Kill Man Believed To Be Murder Suspect
An 18-day manhunt has come to an end as deputies shot and killed a man they think is the "extremely dangerous" gunman wanted for murder and kidnapping.A man believed to be Benjamin Peter Ashley was shot by Kern County Sheriff's Deputies after he left a convenience store in Inyokern around 4:45 p.m., Saturday afternoon. Ashley had been on the run and hiding in the remote wilderness of Kern County after killing a retired dentist, kidnapping three men whose cabin he was hiding out in, and shooting and injuring two deputies. He was able to elude deputies by taking advantage of the mountainous terrain, empty cabins and abandoned mines in the area.
However, when he walked into Brady's Mini-Mart, on highway 395 near the highway 14 junction, to buy about $100 of food, the clerk recognized him from the news reports. "He was dirty, looked like he'd been hiking for days," Gary Welfl told 23ABC. "Seemed like the guy in the newspaper."
Two deputies responded to the scene and say the man was shot after he brandished a handgun. "We don't know yet whether he fired," said Sheriff Donny Youngblood. "But both deputies fired striking the suspect and killing him."
Although they are awaiting autopsy results to confirm it is Ashley, Youngblood is certain the manhunt is over. "I'm confident that it's him," he told the Bakersfield Californian.
The 34-year old suspect is believed to have been homeless and had been arrested numerous times across California before the events in Kern County. Schools and trails had been closed across the area during the manhunt, and authorities advised residents to lock all windows and doors in the rural area.