OJAI, Calif. (AP) — The manhunt for the gunman accused of killing three members of his ex-girlfriend's family ended in a national forest where the suspect apparently killed himself as officers closed in, authorities said.
After learning that Reynaldo Herrera Rodriguez set up camp at Los Padres National Forest, authorities caught sight of him running from his sport-utility vehicle, said Ventura County deputy Steve Mayorga. They were organizing search teams when they heard a gun fire.
Searchers found Rodriguez's body in a nearby embankment face-down with a loaded pistol beside him and a single gunshot wound to the head.
Authorities say Rodriguez broke into Maria Rios' home in Simi Valley home while she wasn't home Wednesday and opened fire on her family, killing her 4-year-old daughter, 12-year-old brother and grandmother and wounding two of her teenage siblings.
"I would've much rather for him to stay alive and suffer like we are suffering, but he took his own life and he's not suffering anymore," Rios, 24, said late Friday.
Rodriguez, 35, apparently drove his SUV into the forest and set up camp there despite the intense manhunt. Campers told rangers he had been in the area begging for water and food since Wednesday.