A winery worker known for his hot temper and penchant for guns went on a shooting spree in Northern California's wine country Friday, killing his wife, his mother-and-law, a man and two girls before fleeing with his three young daughters.
Sonoma County Sheriff Dick Michaelsen tentatively identified the suspect as Ramon Salcido, a forklift operator at the Grand Cru winery near Glen Ellen, and said he was armed and "extremely dangerous."Salcido, seen leaving one of the crime scenes with several firearms and knives, was believed to be fleeing in a 1979 Ford sedan with his three daughters, who one neighbor said were between the ages of 1 and 3.
None of the five people killed in separate attacks at a ranch-winery, Salcido's residence, and a home in the city of Cotati was immediately identified by law enforcement officials. But neighbors in Boyes Hot Springs and Cotati said the dead included Salcido's wife and mother-in-law.
Michaelsen said it was the worst mass murder in Sonoma County, about 50 miles north of San Francisco, in a quarter of a century.
Sheriff's detective Larry Doherty said deputies were called to a ranch adjacent to the Grand Cru winery by an employee who dialed 911 to report he had been shot by a man in a passing car while sitting on a porch. Doherty, interviewed at Salcido's house in Boyes Hot Springs, said the man identified his assailant as Salcido.
Deputies near the ranch where Butti was shot found the body of a man in a vehicle stopped on an access road leading to the winery and decided to drive south to Boyes Hot Springs to interview Salcido.
When they arrived, they found the body of a woman in the hallway.
"There was blood everywhere," Doherty said, adding the woman had been shot several times and possibly stabbed.
Doherty said that as soon as deputies came across the body at Salcido's home, they contacted Cotati police and told them to check the in-laws' residence. When police arrived there about 10 a.m., they found the bodies of a woman, believed to be Salcido's mother-in-law, and two girls.