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Wasco, CA

Kern County Sheriff's deputy among 5 shot and killed during standoff in Wasco

ABC30 Central Valley
ABC30 Central Valley
 2021-07-26

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A domestic violence hostage incident in Wasco ended in the deaths of five people, including a Kern County Sheriff's deputy, during the weekend.

The shooting happened during a standoff lasting several hours at a home on Sunday afternoon.

The 41-year-old gunman was one of the people who died. The sheriff's office believes he killed his two sons and their mother.

In an emotional press conference on Monday morning, Sheriff Donny Youngblood teared up as he identified the deputy killed as 35-year-old Phillip Campas, a five-year veteran who had already distinguished himself at the department.

"When you talk about police officers that run towards gunfire, that's him," said the sheriff.

Deputy Campas was a former U.S. Marine who had served as a sergeant in Afghanistan in 2008, the sheriff said.

He was an instructor at the academy, as well as a member of the sheriff's SWAT team and the honor guard. He leaves behind a wife and two young children.

"Our hearts are broken because of the loss of a star of our organization, but we also are mourning three other victims," Sheriff Youngblood said.

The incident began when authorities received a 911 call from someone who heard screaming and shooting coming from the house.

When deputies arrived, they were met by gunfire from inside the house, which injured three officers besides Deputy Campas.

Deputy Dizander Guerrero was wounded by gunfire and two deputies were struck by shrapnel.

The sheriff's office then called the county SWAT team for help while locking down the neighborhood, as the suspect continued to fire at law enforcement from inside the house.

Hours into the standoff, the suspect came out and climbed onto the roof, armed with an AK47 and a handgun, and began shooting. Deputies shot him and he died from his injuries.

The sheriff said they have learnt that the suspect had a previous restraining order against him that prohibited him from having firearms.

Authorities are still looking into the identities of the victims, but they believe the suspect killed his sons, who were 24 and 17 years old, and their 42-year-old mother.

Condolences poured in from law enforcement agencies across California, including the Central Valley, over the death of Deputy Campas.

On Sunday night, Wasco Mayor Alex Garcia released a statement, calling the incident a tragedy.

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NOTE: This story is developing and will be updated.

If you are the victim of domestic abuse, or you know someone who is, there is help available 24/7. In Fresno County, call the Marjaree Mason Center at (559) 233-4357. In all other locations, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233.

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