California golf course dispute sparks shooting, fire; 5 dead
SANTA MARIA, Calif. — A third body has been found in the rubble of a burned-out mobile home in California, bringing to five the number of dead in a shooting and fire that began during an argument at a pitch-and-putt golf course, authorities said.
Santa Maria police identified Kurt Bracke, 70, and Richard Hanen, 78, as the victims who were fatally shot.
Residents told The Santa Maria Times there had been a long-standing feud between the two men and the shooter that boiled over Friday at the golf course of the Casa Grande Mobile Estates in Santa Maria, a coastal city about 140 miles (225 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles. The shooter has not been identified.
“These three guys were threatening each other for a long time,” Keith Castro said.
Responding to a report of shots fired at the mobile home park on Friday morning, police found one man fatally shot inside the Casa Grande clubhouse and another dead on the grass nearby, the newspaper reported.
The gunman is believed to have fled to his mobile home, which then went up in flames after a small explosion. The blaze spread to nearby mobile homes before it could be put out by firefighters, where ammunition was exploding from the gunman’s mobile home.
“All throughout the firefighting efforts, ammunition was cooking off,” Police Chief Phil Hansen said.
Authorities initially found two bodies— one of which is believed to be the gunman’s— in the rubble, but said Saturday an additional victim had been located. Their names will be released after the coroner’s office confirms their identities.
Santa Maria City Councilwoman Gloria Soto expressed her condolences to the victims’ families on Twitter.
“I am committed to working on local policies that keep our residents and their families safe,” she wrote .
Santa Maria police declined to release any additional information and Casa Grande Mobile Estates declined to comment on Sunday.