A 29-year-old California man was shot dead by authorities Saturday after they said he murdered his mother and set her house on fire before trying to escape by fleeing via tractor.
Ryan Carnan, 29, also allegedly opened fire on passers-by shortly after the incident in the Bridal Path neighborhood of Simi Valley, Calif.
Firefighters extinguishing the blaze at the Simi Valley home then identified the body of Carnan’s mother, KTLA reported.
“We want everyone to kind of respect the fact that they’re dealing with the loss of their mother and their brother,” a family spokesman said Sunday to KTLA, referring to Carnan’s brother and sister, who were at the burned-out house. “If you could just give them some privacy — that’s really all we’re asking for.”
Carnan’s brother called police to report the incident around 4:45 p.m. Saturday, the Los Angeles Times reported. According to the paper, Carnan told his brother that he shot his mother.
Authorities received other 911 calls of a man driving a tractor and shooting at people in the neighborhood, the Times reported.
Police defended their fatal shooting of Carnan.
“Based on the information that was being received by the 911 callers that a subject was actively shooting a firearm in a residential neighborhood, the heroic actions of the officers involved cannot be understated,” police said in a statement, according to the New York Daily News.
Before he was shot, Carnan got on top of a tractor and was thinking of using the equipment to evade authorities. A neighbor, Norm Trevena, said he spoke to Carnan shortly before the 29-year-old was killed by cops.
“He comes by and I said, ‘Are you shooting up there?’” Trevena said to KTLA. “And he looks at me with the gun, he has the gun. And I said, ‘Oh, you are shooting up there,’ and he just stared at me with this really weird look on his face.’”
A passer-by, Wendy Thompson, described what she saw to the Ventura County Star. Thompson said some bullets landed near her as she rode her bike in the area.
"I was like, 'What is that?' at first, then there was a 'bang-bang,' and then I saw them next to me," the 44-year-old told the paper.
The Ventura County Bomb Squad was called in to assist in the investigation after authorities feared Carnan might have placed explosives at the crime scene.