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SLO County Sheriff identifies suspect in Nipomo shooting

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Dave Alley / KCOY
The SLO County Sheriff's Office identified the suspect involved in a shooting in Nipomo on Friday during Monday's press conference.
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Dave Alley / KCOY
Scott Huffman, 42, of Bakersfield

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson gave an update Monday afternoon regarding last Friday's active shooting incident in Nipomo.

On Friday, an unidentified man fired several shots from a handgun during a shooting spree at a Vons gas station on the 500 block of West Tefft Street in Nipomo.

During the Monday press conference, Parkinson identified the shooter as 42-year-old Scott Huffman of Bakersfield.

"At this point, there is not motive known for this event," said Sheriff Ian Parkinson. "I can say that there is obvious early indication of some mental health crisis going on, but at this point, no history and the investigation is continuing."

The investigation revealed that Huffman reportedly fired several rounds at the exterior doors of the convenience store before walking toward Tefft Street.

"Fortunately, we had two clerks that were working at the gas station that were very much paying attention," said Parkinson. "They saw him get out of the car with the handgun in hand and immediately hit the door locks on the gas station front entry."

He then continued to fire multiple rounds at businesses on the south side of Tefft.

Huffman then allegedly shot multiple rounds at a CAL FIRE firetruck which was traveling eastbound on Tefft responding to an unrelated call for service.

"(He) hit the engine several times," said Parkinson. "I think fairly close to the passenger position in the engine. We're fortunate that no one was hit and killed."

CAL FIRE in SLO County reported that the thickness of the engine door kept the bullets from entering the cab and prevented the crew from being injured.

Huffman then walked to the center median of Tefft Street and pointed his handgun at motorists before making his way back to the Vons shopping center parking lot.

Deputies said Huffman eventually entered the same Vons store he had shot in previously and continued firing multiple rounds from a semi-automatic handgun.

Sheriff's Office and CHP personnel arrived at the scene at this time, about 6-and-a-half minutes after the initial 911 calls came in according to Parkinson.

Huffman exited the convenience store and a final shooting took place involving law enforcement, including two Sheriff's deputies and an officer with the California Highway Patrol.

Parkinson said law enforcement fired five rounds at Huffman, who was struck and pronounced dead at the scene.

The Sheriff also revealed Huffman had a female passenger inside his car at the time of the shooting.

"As far as we know at this point, she did nothing wrong," said Parkinson. "Had no idea this was going to happen. This was not a planned event. We have identified her and we have spoken with her that day."

He added an unidentified bystander used his truck to block Huffman's car in the parking lot.

"Even though we don't encourage people to intervene, the fact is people have to make their own decisions and I think I just want to highlight that we had two very attentive and well-trained clerks, that reacted immediately, and we had a citizen that got involved in order to not allow the suspect to get back back in his car and leave the area," said Parkinson.

Parkinson also said there are two separate investigations now taking place.

One is the criminal investigation for the shooting, while the other in an internal investigation that is focused on response tactics and behavior.

The SLO Sheriff's Office is receiving assistance from CHP and the FBI during its ongoing investigation.

Article Topic Follows: Crime & Courts

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