Gunman kills five people, including wife, in a series of shootings in California

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LOS ANGELES (AFP) - A man went on a shooting rampage in California on Wednesday (Sept 12), killing five people including his wife, before taking his own life, a police spokesman told AFP.

"We have six deceased, one is the suspect and five are victims," said Lieutenant Mark King of the Kern County sheriff's office after the shooting in the city of Bakersfield. "We believe it's possibly a domestic violence incident."

Police received their first call at 5.19pm before responding to the first location, a trucking company.

"When the deputies responded, they located three victims of the shooting and the suspect had fled," said Lt King, adding that the man is believed to have shot two more victims at another location.

"At 5.54pm, the vehicle was located at a local business. The suspect noticed the deputy pulled into the business, and then shot himself," said Lt King.

"Our detectives have five separate scenes. We are interviewing over 30 witnesses," he continued, adding that the man had used a large calibre handgun.

It was the latest chapter of America's epidemic of gun violence.

Americans make up only 4 per cent of the global population but they own 40 per cent of the world's firearms, according to a recent study published by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

Of the 857 million guns owned by civilians, 393 million are in the United States - more than all of the firearms held by ordinary citizens in the other top 25 countries combined, according to the Small Arms Survey.

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