California police fatally shoot suspect after 2-week-long manhunt

California police fatally shoot suspect after 2-week-long manhunt

A more than a two-week-long manhunt in the mountainous high desert of central California came to an end last Saturday when two deputies from Kern County Sheriff’s Department opened fire and killed a man believed to be the suspect.

The deputies fired multiple shots and killed 34-year-old Benjamin Peter Ashley after he defied their orders and pulled out a handgun during the confrontation on a rural road near foothills east of Bakersfield.

Dozens of law enforcement officers had been in search of the remote area of Ashley for the last many days. He was suspected of murdering a retired dentist and taking three men hostage in addition to wounding two deputies.

The Kern County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement, “We have not positively identified him, but all indications are it is the suspect we were looking for … He either died from his injuries, or he shot himself and died. It's hard to confirm at this point.”

The suspect allegedly took three men hostage in the Twin Oaks area on July 28, and threatened to kill them. But they managed to escape. A couple of days later, he allegedly killed 64-year-old David Markiewitz, who was found dead in a cabin in Jawbone Canyon. On August 1, he shot and wounded two SWAT officers.

During the massive manhunt, officials warned residents in the remote area to stay inside and lock their doors and windows as the armed suspect could hurt them. Thee schools were also closed.

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