Police said on Friday that a gunman who is accused of shooting and trying to kill a sheriff’s deputy in Hesperia Thursday morning is also linked to two other high-profile shootings.

37 year-old Kenneth Welch, was arrested at his home Redlands home Thursday. CBS Los Angeles reports the suspects car, which was riddled with bullets, was towed away from the scene.

The suspect is now facing charges of attempted murder on a police officer.

Welch is accused of shooting 25 year old sheriff’s deputy, Patrick Higgins, at a Chevron gas station in Hesperia early Thursday morning.

The original reason the deputy responded to the gas station was for an armed robbery report.

After Deputy Higgins spoke with the employee, he noticed a vehicle that matched the description of the suspect’s vehicle.

According to deputy Higgins, the driver refused to exit the vehicle and that’s when he used pepper spray to force the man out.

The gunman then shot the deputy in the chest.

The deputy returned gun fire at the suspect, who then fled from the scene.

Deputy Higgins was taken by paramedics to a hospital for treatment of injuries obtained in the shooting.

The gunman, Kenneth Welch was arrested without any incident.

According to police, Welch is also suspected in the murder of 48 year-old Maria Figueroa, and for two other shootings that took place in Rialto on the 210 Freeway.

The investigation is ongoing.


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