Search Continues For Murder Suspect Near Weldon, Schools Closed

The Kern County Sheriff’s Office, police from Bakersfield, Ridgecrest and California City, the California Highway Patrol and L.A. County officers are looking for a man who shot at SWAT deputies near Weldon.

Michael Booker, 40, was hospitalized at Antelope Valley Hospital after being struck by rounds in the wrist and shoulder after 8 p.m. Saturday.

“They were searching some outbuilding and the SWAT deputies were fire upon by a suspect,” Sheriff’s spokesman Ray Pruitt said. “The deputies did return fire.”

Another deputy’s ear was grazed by a bullet. That man, Jose Perez, is back in the field.

Investigators believe they’re looking for the same man who held three people at gunpoint in Twin Oaks and killed 64-year-old David Markiewitz at his cabin in the Jawbone Canyon last week.

Schools in the Kern Valley have been closed because of ongoing law enforcement activity in the area. The closures affect Piute Mountain Elementary, South Fork Elementary and South Fork Middle School.

The schools will remain closed until further notice.

– Anthony Pollreisz