Kern County is mourning the loss of 35-year-old Kern Sheriff’s Deputy Phillip Campas who was shot and killed by a suspect in Wasco Sunday afternoon. Around 1 p.m. KCSO received multiple 9-1-1 calls of shots fired in a residence on 1st Street near Poplar Avenue. When deputies arrived, they encountered a woman who reported multiple people had been shot inside the home. A few minutes later shots rang out toward deputies from the residence. SWAT were then called and a perimeter was setup around the house. Just before 3pm, SWAT attempted to enter the home believing victims were still alive and in danger inside. The suspect then fired an AK-47 style rifle hitting two deputies, Deputy Phillip Campas and Deputy Dizander Guerrero. Two other deputies were wounded by shrapnel. Deputies Campas and Guerrero were transported to local hospital. The suspect continued to fire at officers and around 7 p.m., exited the home and began to climb on the roof of the residence. Another officer-involved-shooting occurred and the suspect was hit and died at the scene. When deputies entered the residence, three deceased individuals were inside, a 42-year-old female, a 24-year-old male, and a 17-year-old male. The victims are the 41-year-old suspect’s two sons and their mother. There was a restraining order against the suspect which prohibited him from owning firearms.
Deputy Guerrero was released from Kern Medical that evening.
In a press conference Monday morning, Kern Sheriff Donny Youngblood says Campas was a 5-year veteran with the KCSO having been a United States Marine prior. He says to the department, it felt Campas had been with them much longer due to how much of an impact he had within the department. Youngblood says funeral arrangements will be made by the family. He adds 23 members of the KCSO are on administrative leave pending the investigation.