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5 dead after argument at California golf course leads to shooting, fire

A long-standing feud between three individuals reportedly boiled over on Friday

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

An ongoing feud between three men reportedly erupted at a California golf course on Friday, leaving five people dead and two mobile homes burned to the ground in its wake.

What are the details?

Police responded to reports of gunshots at the Casa Grande Mobile Estates in Santa Maria after 11:30 a.m., and emergency crews were called out to a structure fire on the grounds moments later. One man was found shot to death at the golf course clubhouse, another victim was found nearby in the grass. Three more bodies were discovered in the ashes of a fire which destroyed two houses and damaged two others in the seniors-only community.

Authorities have not yet released a motive, but several park residents told the Santa Maria Times an argument between the suspected killer and two victims began at the park's pitch-and-putt golf course just before shots rang out. Resident Keith Castro told the local newspaper, "These three guys were threatening each other for a long time."

The two men killed in the clubhouse area were identified as Kurt Bracke, 70, and Richard Hanen, 78. The suspect's name has not yet been released.

According to the Associated Press, the alleged gunman is believed to have fled to his mobile home after shooting the first two victims. His body was found along with remains of another individual after the fire was put out, and a third victim's body was found in the ashes on Saturday.

In a follow-up story by the Santa Maria Times, an unnamed Casa Grande resident reported rumors that after killing the two men at the clubhouse, the suspected killer returned home and killed his own son before committing suicide.

Santa Maria Police Chief Phil Hansen told reporters the fire department had to hold off on fighting the fire initially, because officers were concerned for their safety in the chaos of a prospective active shooter situation. A small explosion was heard at the start of the blaze, and ammunition was reportedly exploding from inside the gunman's mobile home, according to Fox News.

Santa Maria Police Chief Phil Hansen press conference on June 21 shooting and structure fire youtu.be

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