BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Sunday marks one week since a mass shooting in Wasco that left several dead, including a Kern County Sheriff’s SWAT deputy.
This is a story that has shaken Kern County to its core. It has gathered attention and condolences from the nation. It’s a story about two families ripped apart, an officer who made the ultimate sacrifice and a community that united to give respect, honor and prayers to those we lost.
This is the living history of Kern County. A history that won’t be forgotten.
On a peaceful Sunday morning in Wasco, having just delivered a litter of kittens. No one from the Ramirez family expected the dramatic events that unfolded just hours later that same day.
From loud arguing, to a series of gunshots, to a swat standoff and a sheriff’s deputy being killed.
This day only continued to escalate until Jose Ramirez was shot by the swat team who had surrounded his home in a hours-long standoff.
“We had victims of shootings in the residents,” Joel Swanson a KCSO Sheriff’s Lieutenant said just minutes after Jose Ramirez was taken down. “As the swat team was approaching the residence the suspect began firing from inside the residence. Two of our deputies were struck.”
The total body count for this horrific scene added up to five, including the suspect.
“When I walk in the house, I noticed Jose was on the floor with the back of his head open,” said Sarai Ramirez, a Wasco shooting survivor and wife of belated Jose Ramirez the Third, the son of the shooter. “I was preparing myself if he wasn’t going to make it, to be strong for him. And the last thing he said to me was I love you.”
Day after day people from all over Kern County spread their support for the survivors and families of those who tragically met their end. Flowers and candles could be seen popping up at the sheriff stations within hours of the shooting.
The body of Sheriff’s Deputy Phillip Campas was moved in a precession that included first responders and officers from KCSO and BPD.
“God is with the family, the Ramirez family and also with the family of the officer who passed away,” Frank Sanchez a Wasco Pastor said at one of the prayer services. “We thank you today Lord. For bringing us together as a community Lord.”
Prayer services were held in both Bakersfield and Wasco for Deputy Campas and the Ramirez family.
A vigil was also held at the end of the week that led supporters to KCSO headquarters in Oildale.
Another memorial for Campas is planned to be held next Friday on August 6th, at the Mechanics Bank Arena on Truxtun Avenue.
It will begin at 11 a.m. and it’s open to the public.