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Suspected Gunman in Placer County Shooting Spree Identified

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Undated booking photo of Stephen Stepanski III provided by the Placer County Sheriff’s Office

PLACER COUNTY — The Placer County Sheriff’s Office identified a 48-year-old Montana man as the suspect in a deadly shooting spree Tuesday night.

Stanley Stepanski III was from Florence, Montana, investigators said.

Stepanski is suspected of fatally shooting an elderly Penryn woman, injuring another man with gunfire and shooting a K-9 officer. The man and dog are expected to be OK. Another person was shot at but not hit, deputies said.

Investigators say the chaotic string of events began in Newcastle, when someone had reported a man driving erratically and brandishing a gun.

Stepanski was shot and killed by officers on westbound Interstate 80 near Highway 65.

Investigators said that, despite prevalent rumors in the shooting’s immediate aftermath, Stepanski had no known connections to any of the victims and that the violence appeared to be random.

It was not immediately known what Stepansky’s alleged motive was or how long he had been in the area.

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