MOJAVE — Four people were fatally shot in a small Mojave Desert community, Kern County authorities said Monday.
Deputies responding to a shooting report late Sunday night in the unincorporated community of Mojave found a man and three women with gunshot wounds to their upper bodies, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
The man and two women died at the scene, which was only described as “a property.” One of the women was pronounced dead at a hospital. Their identities were to be determined and released by the coroner’s office after notification of families.
“KCSO Homicide Detectives are pursuing all investigative leads to identify and arrest the suspect(s) responsible for this crime,” the news release said.
No other details were immediately released, but sheriff’s public information officer Lori Meza said in an email to The Associated Press that there was no current threat to the community.
19th Mass Killing in US This Year
It is the 19th mass killing of 2023, the most through the end of April of any year since at least 2006, according to a database maintained by The Associated Press and USA Today in partnership with Northeastern University. A mass killing is defined as the slaying of four or more people other than the assailant.
This year has set a record pace with roughly one a week. Among the latest violence, a 38-year-old man remained at large Monday after he killed five neighbors in a rural Texas town when he was asked to stop firing off rounds in his yard at night while a baby was trying to sleep.
Mojave, population 3,600, is along an important rail line at an intersection of two state highways on the western side of the Mojave Desert about 70 miles north of Los Angeles.
The community is in a region with a history of gold and silver mining and is currently known for wind farms on nearby hills and the Mojave Air & Space Port, where aerospace companies such as Virgin Galactic have facilities.