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Hourlong police chase, shootout ends near Ridgecrest

October 25, 2013|By Kate Mather

A suspect opened fire on police and passersby during an hourlong pursuit in Central California on Friday morning, authorities said.

Kern County sheriff's deputies joined the chase about 7:10 a.m. in Ridgecrest, where police were in pursuit of a suspect wanted in connection with an assault with a deadly weapon, sheriff's Senior Deputy Michael Whorf said.

During the chase, the suspect "fired at passersby and at officers," Whorf said. It was not immediately clear whether any injuries were reported.

Whorf said the pursuit ended about 8:15 a.m. just north of Highway 395 and Kramer Junction -- about 50 miles south of Ridgecrest. Whorf said there was an "exchange of gunfire" between the suspect and officers, but the status of the suspect was unknown.

Detectives were enroute to "multiple crime scenes" Friday morning, Whorf said. California Highway Patrol said at least 10 miles of Highway 395 north of Kramer Junction was closed.

The circumstances leading up to the chase were not immediately clear. A police spokesman said that lockdown orders for all Ridgecrest schools Friday morning had been lifted by 10 a.m.

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Twitter: @katemather | Google+
kate.mather@latimes.com

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