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Five Dead in Sacramento Killing Rampage

Aired August 20, 2001 - 16:32   ET


JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: CNN continuing to follow up breaking news developments on a real rampage, a killing rampage out in the Sacramento area. Again, police now know about five victims, five people killed in the course of these attacks in two communities, two different locations -- one in North Highlands, which is just north of Sacramento and then a second location at Rancho Cordova, where an additional four people were killed.

Again, what they are able to tell us so far is the person they are looking for is a man married to a victim at the first location. They say that police were called out there this morning, found the woman dead in her home, then went to the second location at Rancho Cordova, found two elderly people killed inside, a baby boy dead outside the home. In addition, they took a 9-year-old girl to the local medical center, UC Davis Medical Center, but unfortunately were not able to save her life and she died later, actually before she reached the hospital.

Investigators are now looking for the suspect, a 27-year-old man believed to be married to the first victim in this case. There is a strong community of Russian immigrants, we're told by the local sheriff's department, in this area. And earlier, to KCRA, our affiliate in Sacramento, they heard some comments from people who happen to know the family involved. Let's listen to that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know these people. This is very friendly people, old people.

MALE KCRA REPORTER (on camera): So it's kind of a surprise to you that this has happened?


CHEN: Again, a very brief statement made by one the friends of the victims in this case. She referred to very nice older people. She apparently was referring to the two elderly victims who were found at the second location, a man and a woman found inside that home. As well, we are told a baby boy found outside the home. And in addition, a 9-year-old girl who died en route to the hospital at UC Davis.

Again, you see there was a great deal of emotion out at the scene. Police are quite concerned at this point because their suspect is still at large. They have describe him as a 27-year-old man married to the victim at the first location. They have named him as Nikolay Soltys. They say that he was seen at both locations driving a silver Nissan Altima. And because he was seen at both the locations, and given the family relationship between these two locations, they are quite concerned that he is the suspect, and they're very concerned that he may be armed and still would be quite dangerous.

They are also quite concerned for a 2-year-old that they have not been able to account for. He's a member of the family, but at this point they don't know whether he's with the suspect or in some other completely safe location, unaffected by the tragedy of events that has occurred in these two attacks earlier in the day. They just haven't been able to locate the 2-year-old. They are very concerned for his safety.

But they are also immediatel looking for Nikolay Soltys, the 27- year-old man in the silver Nissan Altima, and have advised the community to be on the lookout. AGain, this is an event that has drawn out a great deal of emotion in the community. Even with investigators follwoing this case, earlier KCRA spoke with Sergeant Jamie Lewis from the Sacramento Sheriff's Department -- from KOVR -- I'm sorry, our affiliate KOVR -- got this comment from Sergeant Lewis just a short time ago. Let's listen.


SGT. JAMES LEWIS, SACRAMENTO CO. SHERIFF'S DEPT.: Well, shortly before 10:00 this morning we responded to an address in North Highlands on -- I believe it's Scallop (ph) Court. At that time we found a female victim inside a duplex there who was pronounced dead there at the scene. Had some serious trauma to the upper torso.

While we were in the process of investigating that, we received a call here at 10321 Millstation Road in Rancho Cordova. We have since learned that the victims in this are related to the victim over in North Highlands, that the suspect in both cases appears to be the one responsible for the homicides in both cases. He's been described as 27-year-old Nikolay Soltys. And I think he's 27, I'm not sure. He's been described as driving a silver Nissan Altima.

At this scene we have two elderly victims in the house that have been pronounced dead. We have an infant on the front porch that has been pronounced dead. We have another child that has been transported to UC Davis Medical Center in critical condition. All of them appear to have sustained significant trauma. We don't believe at this point that it is gunshot wound related, although we don't know what the trauma is from.

We also don't know what the motive for the attack is at this point, quite frankly. But we're certainly looking for help in locating Nikolay. We would consider him armed and dangerous. I wouldn't suggeste that anybody approach him, but if anybody has any information as to his whereabouts or where he may be, we need that information as quickly as possible.

QUESTION: We heard something about necks being slashed, stab wounds.

LEWIS: I'm not going to confirm any of the injuries to the victims at this point. That's all stuff that's exclusive to him at this point and that's something we won't release.

QUESTION: ... where the suspect is?

LEWIS: We have no idea. We've been searching the area. We've been contacting people that he knows, and that's why we're looking for the public's help, quite frankly.

QUESTION: Relationship with the family?

LEWIS: We believe that the victim in North Highlands is his wife. We're not really sure what the relationship is here with these folks. It's possibly mother, father, but we're not sure.

QUESTION: Again, victims were...

LEWIS: We have two elderly victims here at this scene. We have a 27-year-old female in North Highlands on Scallop (ph) Court. We have an infant here and we also have a 7-year-old child -- I think it was a female child -- that was transported to UCD.

QUESTION: Is this more of a family issure, possibly, as opposed to random?

LEWIS: It appears as though that's the case. Again, we don't know for sure. We're still in the process of trying to iron out those details, quite frankly.

QUESTION: Jamie, you thought that he was boyfriend of the woman up in North Highlands?

LEWIS: We think he was actually the husband of the victim in North Highlands.

QUESTION: OK, and then the child here was not their child?

LEWIS: We don't know. This is just breaking, quite frankly. This started at just before 10:00. We got a call here to this address at just after 11:00. So it's all still unfolding as we speak.

QUESTION: Did any witnesses see anything?

LEWIS: Not that we know of, and that's something that we're in the process of doing right now. We don't really have -- I don't have a lot of those details yet.

QUESTION: Ages of the children?

LEWIS: This one was an infant, the other one was 7 years old, I believe -- somewhere around there. Don't know -- I think it was a female but I'm not sure.

QUESTION: And you said there were other people injured, too, besides the ones that were killed.

LEWIS: No. There was another victim in North Highlands.

QUESTION: The 7-year-old is still alive?

LEWIS: The 7-year-old was transported alive in critical condition.


CHEN: Unfortunately, we have learned since that time of the taping of the interview with Sergeant Jamie Lewis of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, that that 9-year-old girl did die en route to the hospital. She arrived at UC Davis Medical Center and was pronounced dead on arrival. So now there is a total of five victims in this rampage.

Again, the information is still quite sketchy. They rae looking now for the suspect, a man that they have identified as 27-year-old Nikolay Soltys. They believe that he is the husband of the victim found at the first location in North Highlands, which is suburb bedroom community of Sacramento. And they were called by the next- door neighbor of the victim at that location. The police were told that the woman had been stabbed. They arrived on the scene and found that the woman -- a 27-year-old woman that they believe is the wife of the suspect, dead when they arrived at her home in North Highlands.

They were then called to a second location. There was a bit of confusion because there was an earlier report that there was a vehicle-pedestrian incident reported into the fire department, but when deputies arrived on the scene they found a terrible carnage inside the home. Two poeple killed inside, an elderly couple, man and woman. Outside the home on the walkway leading up to the home, a baby boy was found dead. In addition, they found a 9-year-old girl who was taken in critical condition to the hospital. She died on the way to the hospital, as we say, of her injuries. And the UC Davis Medical Center tells us that she died of stabbing injuries.

Now, there has been some confusion about that as well. The woman killed at the first location was reported to have been killed in a stabbing incident. But the sheriff's department quite repeatedly said that they had some confusion about the other victims in this, whether the trauma involved was stabbing or some other brute force that was used. They are quite clear that it was not gunshot inflicted, in these injuries that resulted in the deaths of these people. But they were not entirely clear what had caused the deaths of these individuals and so therefore had not reported it.

As well, we have told you there is a great deal of concern for a 2-year-old who has not been accounted for yet, who has not been located. They don't if the child is with the suspect. They don't know if the child was at some other location and is safe and sound at this point. They just have not been able to locate that 2-year-old and they are very concerned. He's a member of that extended family and they're very concerned about him at this point. In addition you see a number of people, great deal of emotion outside the location at Rancho Cordova. They are telling us from the sheriff's department there in Sacramento County that this is a community of a lot of Russian immigrants. And we understand that there's a history of Russian immigration to this particular community that has gone back for decades now.

But the local sheriff's department tells not only is this Russian immigrant community quite significant, it's so significant that the sheriff's department actually has Russian translaters within their department because they want to be able to talk to people in situations like this. And of course those translaters have come in handy and they have followed up on this by bringing the translaters out to talk to people in the community, a number of them gathered.

Right now, the most important thing is that there have been five people killed. The suspect remains at large, 27-year-old man, Nikolay Soltys, last seen driving a silver Nissan Altima. It is a community located near some highways, and there was a great deal of concern that given the amount of time that has already passed -- several hours now have already since the reports first came -- that that individual might have gotten away on the highways and could have gone in any direction, and might have been able effect quite a getaway at this point. The sheriff's department still advising people all around the northern California area to be aware and to be very cautious, because they do not know what the suspect in this case might do next.

CNN is continuing to follow up on this still-developing story. As we get additional information we will bring that to you. We will take a break here, more coverage after this.



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