Scene of the initial shooting
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty
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September 13, 2018 09:40 AM

Six people are dead in Bakersfield, California, after a man went on a shooting spree, killing his wife and four others before ending his own life, PEOPLE confirms.

Lt. Mark King of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office told reporters Wednesday night “there’s a strong indication” the violence followed a domestic incident between the gunman and his wife.

The killer was identified as 57-year-old Javier Casarez, who was getting a divorce from victim Petra Maribel, 45, police said at a Thursday press conference. Also killed were Laura Garcia, 31, Antonio Valdez, 51, Manuel Contreras, 50, and Eliseo Garcia, 57.

Police have not discussed a possible motive.

The shooting began shortly before 5:19 p.m. at a trucking business, after the shooter and his wife had a confrontation with a man who worked at the Bakersfield business.

Dispatchers fielded multiple calls about the shooting and responding officers arrived to find three bodies.

King said the husband shot and killed his wife and the man, prompting another individual inside the trucking company to chase after the shooter.

That man had his own gun, King said, and was running after the assailant when he, too, was fatally shot.

Scene of the initial shooting
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty

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The assailant fled the scene before officers could arrive, King explained.

More calls started coming in about the shooter some 15 minutes later, when there was a second attack in Bakersfield.

King said that the suspect drove to a nearby residence where he confronted two other individuals, fatally shooting them before fleeing.

At 5:49 p.m., a woman called 911, and said she had been carjacked. She gave police a description of her vehicle, and deputies were able to find the car five minutes later.

King said that as a deputy approached the vehicle, the suspect put his handgun to his chest and pulled the trigger.

King told reporters that detectives are questioning some 30 witnesses to the shootings as they try to determine what led to the violence.

“What we’re trying to find out is why this started and why there were so many players were involved and the connection because obviously, these are not random shootings,” King said.

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