|
Gridley Herald - Gridley, CA
  • Munoz took hostages before rampage through town started

  • The timeline of what happened Friday morning in Ridgecrest that ended in the deaths of two people, one a father, injured three others and the high speed chase that put the community at risk, is starting to come together.
    • email print
  • The timeline of what happened Friday morning in Ridgecrest that ended in the deaths of two people, one a father, injured three others and the high speed chase that put the community at risk, is starting to come together.
    On Friday morning around 4 a.m., Sergio Munoz kidnapped two victims and held them in his trunk. An hour later, he would shoot two victims, fatally wounding one and sending the other to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital. Munoz was spotted by Kern County Sheriff's Deputies at around 7 a.m. Munoz didn't yield to officers and a high speed chase began.
    Munoz would fire either a pistol or shotgun at pursuing officers, oncoming traffic and into the back seat of his car at the victims in the trunk. Munoz eventually fled south on Highway 395.
    Munoz shot randomly at oncoming traffic along 395, but there have been no reports of damage or injury from these random shots. Munoz also posted suicidal and other angry notes to his Facebook account via his cell phone while on 395.
    Munoz would travel nearly 40 miles to the outskirts of Kramer Junction before he pulled his car off the road. A road block of law enforcement vehicles and officers forced him to pull over.
    Munoz exited the vehicle and began shooting into the trunk of his vehicle and then at officers. The kidnap victims were able to escape the trunk having been shot but still alive. Officers opened fire on Munoz and was pronounced dead at the scene.
    According to the Ridgecrest Police Department's Sergeant Jed McLaughlin, the names of the kidnap victims in the trunk of Sergio Munoz car are not yet available but there are now details about how the two got in the trunk.
    McLaughlin said Tuesday morning that about an hour before the shooting of Thaddeus Meier and Brittany Matheny on Atkins Street, about 4 a.m., Munoz called the female kidnap victim to come to his home on Beth Lane and pick him up.
    McLaughlin said he it is still unclear why and when the male kidnap victim showed up at Munoz' house.
    The victims said Munoz injected himself with an as yet unknown substance and then “went crazy,” McLaughlin explained. An autopsy is being performed today to determine Munoz cause of death and what substances he may have been under the influence of.
    Munoz then pulled a gun out and forced the male victim to his knees and told him to put his hands behind his back. Munoz then forced the male victim into the trunk of his car and told the female victim to drive to 521 Atkins.
    Once at the address, Munoz forced the female victim into the trunk. The victims in the trunk said they heard gun fire and Munoz returned to the vehicle. He told the couple in the trunk that he had shot Meier and Matheny.
    Page 2 of 2 - Munoz then drove around the city, calling an RPD officer, McLaughlin said.
    “We didn't know what his intent was at that point," McLaughlin said.
    Munoz was finally spotted by Kern County Sheriff's Deputies and the high speed pursuit began.
    During the pursuit, the kidnap victims were able to open the trunk. McLaughlin said that according to testimony from the victims, they were trying to warn police that Munoz was armed.
    Munoz would race around town firing randomly on Upjohn Avenue; at a female driver near Walmart; and while in the 700 block of South China Lake Boulevard near AltaOne Credit Union.
    Munoz was a convicted felon who had been arrested on Oct. 20 for possession of ammunition. McLaughlin said Munoz and others in the vicinity of Atkins had been questioned and searched in connection with an area burglary.
    It is unsure whether Munoz was connected with the burglary.
    The investigation into Friday’s incident is ongoing. If anyone has information on this investigation, please call the Kern County Sheriff’s Office at 661-861-3110 or Secret Witness at 661-322-4040.
    Anonymous text tips can be sent to TIP411 (847411). Just type the keyword “KCSO” prior to the message.

        calendar