BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man occupying a vehicle that fled authorities in multiple counties and whose body was found in an orchard off Highway 46 died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to coroner’s officials.
Kittipong Kuanbooncharn, 20, of Lompoc was pronounced dead at the scene June 8, about a mile north of the highway, at Berenda Mesa Canal, according to a coroner’s release. He died from a gunshot wound to the head.
Authorities said Kuanbooncharn and a juvenile were wanted in connection with a homicide June 5 that occurred in Santa Barbara County and a carjacking, shooting and armed robbery in Orange County the afternoon of June 8. A car believed linked to the crimes led officers on a chase through Paso Robles that ended on Highway 46 near Kecks Road.
The suspects ran from the car into an orchard, according to sheriff’s officials. Deputies surrounded the orchard and a K-9 handler spotted the suspects trying to hide near the canal.
Deputies arrested the juvenile but as they approached Kuanbooncharn they saw he had died from an apparent gunshot wound, officials said. No law enforcement officers fired their weapons during the incident and a gun was found near Kuanbooncharn’s body, according to the sheriff’s office.