Published On: Mon, Sep 28th, 2015

James Paul Diaz arrested for California shooting spree which killed two

A man suspected of going on a shooting rampage in Banning, California was charged on Sunday with two counts of first degree murder and four other violent offenses, police said.

James Paul Diaz, 34, reportedly shot at series of people and vehicles starting shortly before noon on Saturday, Banning police said in a news release. They did not give a motive.

Diaz is suspected of first shooting a male driver to death in a car and causing minor injuries to a passenger, police said. Paul “Joey” Lesh, 66, was identified as the man killed in this first shooting

James Paul Diaz

James Paul Diaz

Seven minutes later, police responded to a call that someone shot at a woman in another car, causing her minor injuries from broken glass. Ten minutes later, a man was beaten and assaulted with unknown blunt instrument as he sat inside his parked vehicle, police said.

Twenty minutes later, police responded to a report that a car had crashed into a building wall. A man found dead inside had suffered gunshot wounds, police said. Authorities have not yet released the name of this man pending notification of his family.

A few minutes later, in nearby Beaumont, California, police were alerted that a man was knocking on residence doors and they then learned that a man was breaking a window and a door handle of an occupied vehicle, police said.

Beaumont police officers stopped a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle of the suspect in the shootings and other offenses. He was taken into custody and a weapon was found inside the vehicle, police said.

Diaz was booked into Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility and in addition to murder, he is charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a person, shooting at a person from a vehicle, shooting at an inhabited vehicle and attempted murder, police said. Officers took a blood sample from Diaz Jr. to test for alcohol and drugs.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.


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