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Sacramento Slaying Suspect Kills Self

September 10, 2001

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. _ A former security guard wanted in a shooting spree that killed five people shot himself to death after a shootout with police Monday, authorities said.

Joseph Ferguson, 20, died after a violent gun battle with officers about five miles from Sacramento’s downtown, said Linda Casillas, a dispatcher with the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department.

``There was a very large shootout and he shot at a (California Highway Patrol) officer and I believe one other citizen, and then he was trying to get out of the area and shot himself,″ Casillas said.

Casillas said the California Highway Patrol officer was believed to be wounded but not dead, and the condition of the other person who was possibly wounded was not immediately known.

``It was such a mess out there,″ Casillas said.

Authorities say Ferguson went on a shooting spree that began Saturday night because he was despondent over losing his girlfriend and getting suspended from his job with Burns Security a week earlier.

His ex-girlfriend, also a Burns employee, and three other former co-workers were among his alleged victims.

Ferguson allegedly killed four people, including ex-girlfriend Nina Susu, late Saturday night. He then handcuffed another former co-worker to a tree at the zoo and fled in her car.

Ferguson was heavily armed, and officials evacuated Burns employees out of fear for their safety.

Ferguson claimed his fifth victim Sunday night when a Burns Security supervisor shot to death, police said. Ferguson kept the man and his wife hostage for more than 12 hours before killing the man and attempting to flee once again, authorities said.

Ferguson did not make it far, dying at his own hands shortly after midnight Monday, authorities said.

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