Agencies: Kern County Sheriff's Office California
Last updated: 5 months ago
Sheriff’s deputies in California shot and killed Benjamin Peter Ashley, the target of a two-week-long manhunt in the rugged, mountainous high desert of central California, authorities said late Saturday. Ashley, 34, was fatally struck by two deputies who tried to stop him as he walked on a rural road towards the foothills, Kern County sheriff’s spokesman Ray Pruitt said. He was shot after he brandished a handgun, Pruitt said. “We have not positively identified him, but all indications are it is the suspect we were looking for,” Pruitt said. The confrontation came after the owner of a convenience store reported that a man matching Ashley’s description had come in and bought about $100 worth of junk food. Dozens of deputies and officers from various agencies have been searching in remote terrain about 30 miles east of Bakersfield for Ashley. He is suspected of killing a retired dentist, taking three men hostage and wounding two deputies. The crime spree began on 28 July when a gunman took three men hostage in a cabin in the Twin Oaks area after they confronted him about squatting on their property. Authorities said the suspect held the men for more than an hour and threatened to kill them before they escaped. The search intensified two days later when David Markiewitz, 64, was found dead in another cabin in Jawbone Canyon, about 10 miles away.