Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

News

Manhunt Is On For An 'Extremely Dangerous' Gunman Suspected Of Murder

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

Police are on an epic manhunt in a remote area of Kern County for a mysterious gunman who allegedly killed one man and wounded two sheriff’s deputies. The unidentified man is believed to be armed and "extremely dangerous," and may be responsible for three violent incidents within a span of a week, including the murder of a retired dentist.

On July 28, three young men from Bakersfield were allegedly kidnapped in a cabin near Twin Oaks, the L.A. Times reports. The men—one 19 year-old and two 20-year-olds—went to the cabin at about 7 p.m. when they spotted a man there. The man wanted to know why they were on his property. When the group told him it wasn't his property, they said the man pulled out a gun and forced them inside the cabin. An hour passed before the gunman went outside and the three men were able to make a run for it. They hiked to a main road, eventually finding the father of one of the men, who drove them to the Twin Oaks General Store where they used a payphone to call police. A clerk at the store told the Times that the men told her that their kidnapper said something weird: that he "came from the sky."

When police arrived to the cabin, they found that an off-road vehicle had been stolen. The following day, the vehicle was discovered two miles away. Police believe that the gunman may have been squatting inside the cabin, and then used the off-road vehicle to flee after the confrontation with the three men. They also believe that he broke into other homes or cabins and stole guns. They're not sure how many weapons the man currently has, but he at least has one.

On Thursday, the family of David Louis Markiewitz, a 64-year-old retired dentist who owned a cabin in Weldon, went to visit the cabin after finding it suspicious they hadn't heard from Markiewitz. When the family arrived, they found Markiewitz had been shot and killed inside the cabin. Markiewitz's cabin is about 10 miles east of the men's cabin, and police believe the suspect may have hiked through the Piute Mountains to get there.

Support for LAist comes from

At about 8:30 p.m. on Saturday night, SWAT deputies searching for the gunman entered a trailer near Kelso Valley Road and Jawbone Canyon Road. The gunman, who was hiding inside, opened fire on them.

Deputy Michael Booker sustained gunshot wounds to his shoulder and wrist, and Deputy Jose Perez narrowly avoided a grisly fate when a bullet grazed his ear as he pulled Booker to safety, according to the The Kern Golden Empire. Deputies fired back, but could not confirm that the gunman had been hit.

The manhunt continues in a five-mile radius from where Jawbone Canyon intersects with Kelso Valley roads where authorities believe the man is on foot. This rugged terrain is full of caves and abandoned mines, plenty of places for the gunman to hunker down and hide from authorities. Residents in the area have been advised to stay inside, lock their doors and be vigilant. Kern County Senior Deputy Brandon Rutledge said that whoever this man is, "he knows how to survive."

The man has been described as a white male, 30 to 35 years old, 5'8" and 160 pounds, with long, brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a brown, corduroy hat, olive green fatigues and glasses. He has been described as "dirty."