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Man identified in January 3 shooting

By Laura Austin News Review Staff Writer – Tuesday morning the Kern County Sheriff’s Office named Kenneth Dexter Watkins the man who was killed in the January 3rd shooting. 

January 3, 2023, at approximately 2:25 AM, the Ridgecrest Police Department and deputies from the Ridgecrest Sheriff’s Substation responded to the 300 block of Sahara Drive in Ridgecrest to a call involving a suicidal adult male, who was armed with a firearm. After failed attempts to negotiate the man to surrender his firearm, an officer-involved shooting occurred. 

Both the Ridgecrest Police and Kern County Sheriff’s were involved in the officer-involved shooting.  The suspect was struck and was transported to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital for treatment.  He later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased. 

Kern County Sheriff’s Office detectives assumed the investigation. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Kern County Sheriff’s Office at (661)861-3110 or Secret Witness at (661)322-4040