Suspect in slaying of five in Sacramento kills himself
SACRAMENTO (AP) – Former security guard Joseph Ferguson said he ”put on a hell of a show,” during a deadly shooting spree and predicted in a videotape he made that he would soon kill himself, hours before he committed suicide during a police shootout.
”I giveth and I taketh away, that’s how it goes in (expletive) life,” Ferguson said during a videotape shown to reporters Monday.
Ferguson shot himself early Monday in a stolen car after leading officers on a frenzied, 40-minute chase through suburban Rancho Cordova about 10 miles east of downtown, said Sacramento County Sheriff’s Capt. John McGinness.
The shootout, which left a bystander critically injured and wounded a California Highway Patrol Officer, capped a tumultuous day of violence that came three weeks after another deadly rampage in the state capital.
Ferguson, a former supervisor for Burns Security, made the videotape Sunday while holding another Burns employees and his wife hostage for 12 hours, before killing the man, who remained unidentified.
”I put on a hell of a show. I’ve taken four victims, this should be good enough to last about a week on the news. It’s time to feed the news media,” he said in the tape, wearing a black bulletproof vest, fingerless gloves and displaying a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol.
Sacramento County Sheriff Lou Blanas said authorities showed the tape to show what Ferguson had planned, but added, ”We don’t want to make this individual a martyr over this tape.”
Ferguson, 20, of Sacramento, launched his Saturday night shooting spree, authorities said, because he was despondent over getting suspended from his job a week earlier and losing his girlfriend, also a Burns guard. Ferguson was suspended after his ex-girlfriend, Nina Susu, reported he vandalized her car after the breakup.
Burns officials, investigators said Monday, had notified the FBI Friday that Ferguson, a supervisor, might be dangerous because he made threats after the suspension.
However, an FBI check revealed no record of violence and nothing further was done, police said.
While Ferguson was at large, police and Burns Security officials evacuated some employees from their homes and escorted them to safe houses. About 1500 employees from throughout northern California were told to stay home from work for their protection Sunday.
Ferguson killed four people late Saturday night, including Susu and two other former co-workers, authorities said. He then handcuffed another former co-worker to a tree at the Sacramento Zoo and fled in her car.
He spared her, Sacramento Police Chief Arturo Venegas Jr., said, because ”he thought she was just a nice person.”
Ferguson resurfaced around 9 p.m. Sunday and so did a fifth victim – the Burns employee shot to death, authorities said. After holding the couple hostage, Ferguson killed the man, set the wife free and stole their car. The wife, unharmed, called police, who swarmed the area.
At 11:30 p.m., a highway patrolman spotted Ferguson in Rancho Cordova and gave chase. Ferguson sped along freeways and surface streets for about 40 minutes, firing all the while, then smashed into a light pole in front of a fast-food restaurant, police said.
Ferguson exchanged dozens of rounds of gunfire with the officers pursuing him, McGinness said. California Highway Patrol officer Martin Tapia was shot in the arm, and 27-year-old Jeffrey Maines was shot in the abdomen through his car door.
Tapia was listed in good condition Monday, while Maines was in serious to critical condition.
Ferguson remained sprawled in the car while authorities waited, and one sheriff’s sniper reported that he could not see Ferguson moving. When police approached, they found he’d shot himself, McGinness said.
For Sacramento, it was the second mass killing in three weeks.
On Aug. 20, Nikolay Soltys, 27, allegedly slashed his pregnant wife’s throat, then killed his aunt and uncle and their two 9-year-old grandchildren in Sacramento. Authorities say he fled with his son, who was found dead in a cardboard box a day later.
He was later caught and charged with murder.
According to police, Ferguson told acquaintances in cell phone calls during his alleged rampage that he wanted to commit a crime even bloodier than Soltys’.
In the end, Ferguson’s alleged death toll stood at five.
They were his girlfriend Susu, 20, and Marsha Jackson, a 32-year-old single mother of three. Both women, Burns employees, were killed first at a city equipment yard.
Ten miles north at the Miller Park Marina, authorities said Ferguson killed 48-year-old George Bernardino, another Burns guard, and John Derek Glimstad, 19, an employee just hired at the city-run boat dock.
Although police found white supremacist literature at Ferguson’s home, they don’t believe race played a role in the killings. One victim was black and another was Asian.
Ferguson lived with his father, Thomas. His mother, Susan, is an inmate at the Women’s Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, convicted of molesting Ferguson and siblings, McGinness said Monday. Ferguson had no criminal record.
Also in Ferguson’s home was a Nazi flag and a cache of weapons that included two assault rifles. He had apparently taken his weapons for Saturday’s killing spree from home and had converted semiautomatic weapons into fully automatic ones.
During the shootout, police said, Ferguson fired off more than 200 rounds.
”There’s holes all over the squad cars,” Blanas said.
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