Police say that a man robbed a store, killed a man, and shot others, all within 24 hours before dying in a crash when cops pursued him in a high-speed chase.
Gustavo Garcia, 36, was driving at 100 miles per hour down a California highway Monday morning, when a collision caused him to be launched from a vehicle, authorities said. Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said that Garcia “had no regard for human life,” according to the Fresno Bee.
It all started, officers said, when Garcia fatally shot a man on a farm who was on a ladder picking fruit. The victim has been identified as 51-year-old Rocky Jones. This kicked off what police described as a “reign of terror.” Security footage allegedly shows that he then went to a convenience store and fired shots at the ceiling while demanding cash. Then, authorities say, he shot a woman in the arm and chest while she was in her car outside a Motel 6 Sunday evening. Next, he was allegedly involved in an assault with a deadly weapon, and possibly a homicide.
Garcia wasn’t done yet, officers say. Early Monday morning, he allegedly shot up a gas station, before killing a man at an AMPM store. According to police, Garcia didn’t know the victim, although security video showed them speaking to each other before Garcia allegedly shot the other man.
From there, Garcia allegedly went to his ex-girlfriend’s home and fired a gun. It was approximately 3:00 a.m. at this point. The woman and her children managed to get away. Police responded to the scene, but Garcia was gone by the time they arrived. Officers eventually found him at around 5:00 a.m., at which point he allegedly ran into an orchard and held three farm workers at gunpoint before allegedly stealing their truck.
Cops pursued Garcia in what turned out to be a high-speed chase. The California Highway Patrol claimed that Garcia “attempted to strike vehicles,” while he fired at officers’ vehicles. Four people were sent to the hospital as a result of collisions.
At approximately 7:00 a.m., about two minutes into the chase, Garcia crashed the truck and flew out. He was pronounced dead at the site of the crash.
So far, authorities have been looking into as many as 12 cases resulting from this crime spree, but that number could possibly change.
“Let me say this: As we were in the room preparing for this press confernce, we began learning of additional cases,” Boudreaux said.
Garcia was deported from the United States in 2014, after three previous Immigration and Customs Enforcement violations, the Bee reported. It is unclear when he reentered the United States.
[Image via Tulare County Sheriff’s Office]