Tags: Suicide | Ends | Sacramento | Murder | Rampage

Suicide Ends Sacramento Murder Rampage

Monday, 10 September 2001 12:00 AM

The 24-hour rampage by Joseph Ferguson came less than a month after Ukrainian immigrant Nikolay Soltys allegedly stabbed seven family members to death in the Sacramento suburbs, including his wife, son, and unborn child, and then eluded arrest for 10 days.

While Sacramento police said the motive behind the slayings remained under investigation, it was believed that one of the first victims was Ferguson's former girlfriend.

Ferguson, 20, spent much less time on the run. However, the violent nature of the crimes and the arsenal of weapons he was carrying put police and other law enforcement agencies on red alert.

Sacramento County Sheriff Lou Blanas, whose department had led the Soltys investigation, issued an order Sunday that none of his deputies would be allowed to patrol the streets without a partner, the Sacramento Bee said.

"This guy's a nut; he was bent on killing more people. Thank God he was stopped," Blanas told reporters Monday.

The sheriff's concerns appeared well founded Sunday night when Ferguson was spotted by a motorist at around 11:30 p.m. PDT and then cornered in a fast-food restaurant parking lot by police, sheriff's deputies and California Highway Patrol officers.

"Upon the suspect seeing the law enforcement vehicles, he began to flee and a pursuit ensued with CHP," police said in a statement Monday. "The Sacramento Police Department helicopter followed the suspect's movements to where he stopped his vehicle and a gun battle ensued."

Ferguson allegedly fired on the officers with an automatic rifle, leaving a CHP officer and a passing civilian injured. Details of their injuries have not yet been released.

"He was ripping off rounds," witness Damon Bobo told the Bee.

The shooting ended after Ferguson apparently crawled back inside the stolen car he was driving and shot himself.

Ferguson was believed to have started his alleged rampage Saturday night when he showed up at an equipment yard and gunned down two former Burns Security co-workers, one of whom was identified as his ex-girlfriend.

He then allegedly went to a marina and shot to death another Burns guard and a 19-year-old marina employee. All the on-duty Burns guards were immediately called off their posts during the rampage and instructed to seek a safe place to remain until Ferguson was picked up. Ferguson then allegedly drove to the Sacramento Zoo, plowed through a back gate and handcuffed yet another Burns guard to a tree and stole her car.

The Bee said that, according to sources, Ferguson had vowed to "out-do" Soltys' death toll, although he apparently spared the woman at the zoo.

"The reason he left her was that he thought she was a nice person," Police Chief Art Venegas said at a news conference.

The fifth death apparently occurred Sunday at a home where Ferguson allegedly shot a man who lived there - reportedly a Burns supervisor - and then took his wife hostage and sped off in the couple's car. The woman was dropped off unharmed several miles away.

It was reported during Monday's news conference that Ferguson apparently forced the couple to make a videotape of him in which he vowed to commit suicide in the event he was ever wounded by police.

The Bee also reported that a search of the home where Ferguson lived with his father and brothers turned up white supremacist literature, guns, and an underground bunker that may have been used as a shooting range.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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The 24-hour rampage by Joseph Ferguson came less than a month after Ukrainian immigrant Nikolay Soltys allegedly stabbed seven family members to death in the Sacramento suburbs, including his wife, son, and unborn child, and then eluded arrest for 10 days. While Sacramento...
Suicide,Ends,Sacramento,Murder,Rampage
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2001-00-10
Monday, 10 September 2001 12:00 AM
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