Suspected gunman’s father and friend dead after Lake County shooting rampage
Two men killed in a 61-year-old gunman’s violent 30-minute rampage Monday in Lake County were identified Tuesday as his father and longtime friend, Sheriff’s Lt. Norm Taylor said in a statement.
The identities of the two victims, Douglas Ashmore, 85, and Richard Braden, 64 — who were shot at separate locations on the same street minutes apart — provided new insight for officials into a possible motive for Alan Ashmore, the Clearlake Oaks man arrested in the shootings. On Monday, the few details available made it appear to be a random shooting spree. But sheriff’s officials now say much of the violence appeared targeted, with investigators continuing to work the case.
The melee began at Alan Ashmore’s Anchor Village home when he held an unidentified 22-year-old Middletown woman at knifepoint, Taylor said. She fought back and Ashmore then shot her once in the foot before she escaped and sought refuge at a neighbor’s house, Taylor said.
After Ashmore left the house to find the woman, his father, Douglas Ashmore, followed him outside but was shot and killed by his son, Taylor said. Ashmore then fired at his neighbor but the handgun misfired so he went back into his house to grab a Remington 1200 12-gauge shotgun, he said.
Ashmore hopped into his Chevrolet Tahoe and drove a short way down the street and fired at two more houses including that of his former employer, Taylor said.
Ashmore then found his friend, Braden, a Clearlake Oaks resident who had visited Ashmore’s home earlier that morning. He was parked on Anchor Village when Ashmore approached and shot and killed him, according to authorities.
CHP Officer Steven Patrick responded to a report of shots fired and encountered Ashmore, who shot him in the abdomen with the shotgun, the CHP reported. The officer was shielded by his bullet-proof vest and went on to provide security at an elementary school before seeking medical aid, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Ashmore then went to a Chevron gas station at the intersection of Keys Boulevard and Highway 20 and confronted a worker inside before stealing a soda, Taylor said. The clerk went to his car to retrieve a legal, concealed firearm and shot at Ashmore multiple times, striking his SUV, Taylor said.
Ashmore fled west on Highway 20 before stopping at a Power Mart gas station, where he stole cigarettes and a lighter and threatened more people with his shotgun, authorities said.
He then drove up High Valley Road, lighting wildfires along the way to help his escape, Taylor said, but the flames were controlled by Cal Fire and Northshore Fire crews shortly after.
Ashmore continued to Brassfield Winery were he threatened a person with a gun, Taylor said. He then continued west on High Valley Road with CHP and sheriff’s deputies in pursuit, the lieutenant said.
At a roadblock set up by Lakeport Police at Bartlett Spring Road he surrendered to sheriff’s deputies, authorities said.
You can reach Staff Writer Nick Rahaim at 707-521-5203 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @nrahaim.