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Sacramento Police Search for a Suspected Killer of Four

Aired September 9, 2001 - 17:08   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
STEPHEN FRAZIER, CNN ANCHOR: Now let's go to Sacramento, California to talk about this manhunt for Joseph Ferguson.

MAYOR HEATHER FARGO, SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA: ... but we want people to know that we in Sacramento do not tolerate this kind of activity. We do not condone it, we will not support it, and will put all the resources that we can into apprehending this individual before he does any further damage.

We are also would like to announce today that the city of Sacramento is adding $20,000 in reward money to the fund to help apprehend this individual. We hope that he is caught as soon as possible, and all of our efforts on behalf of the city will be put into doing that.

At this time, I would like to introduce the chief of police here in the city of Sacramento, Arturo Venegas -- chief.

CHIEF ARTURO VENEGAS, SACRAMENTO POLICE: Thank you, Madame Mayor.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me give you some background on the case. On Saturday -- somebody's tape recorder just went down. On Saturday, at about 11:18 p.m., the Sacramento police department responded to a report of shots fired at our city corporation yard. Upon their arrival, they located two Burns security guards, females. They were fatally wounded by gunfire. Officers on the scene discovered a Chevy El Camino that had front-end damage and a white Ford Ranger that was missing. A 9 mm handgun was also recovered at the scene.

Shortly after that, the Sacramento police department received a second call of shots fired from the Discovery Park, and upon the officers' arrival, they discovered two additional victims. One was a marina park employee, and the other was a security guard, also from Burns Security. Multiple rounds were fired and an assault rifle was recovered at the scene. The suspect appeared to have driven then to the zoo and abducted a female, also Burns Security guard, handcuffed her to a tree and fled the scene in her vehicle.

We are seeking the assistance of the community and the press in locating the suspect. He is Mr. Joseph Ferguson, and we will have photographs to provide to you. He is 20 years old. Mr. Ferguson is white, male, about 150 pounds, six foot one, brown hair, blue eyes. He is driving right now what we believe to be a 1992 Toyota Tercel dark green in color. The license on that is: 3 C, like in Charles, H, like in Henry, C like in Charles, 638.

He has been despondent after breaking up with his girlfriend. In looking and searching his residence, we found numerous weapons, including handguns and long rifles, which we also believe he is equipped with. If the public has any information, please call us at our number, 443-HELP or call 911. He is armed and dangerous.

We are very fortunate in a way of our success with the Soltys case. The relationship that we have with state, federal and other local agencies, and we have resurrected that task force has been working immediately since we got the calls last night. Present with us today are representatives from the FBI, U.S. Marshal Service, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearm, the California Highway Patrol and our local sheriff. All of them have committed resources in helping us with this investigation and bringing Mr. Ferguson to justice.

Again, we ask, as in the past, we are seeking the assistance of our community and we are asking the assistance of the press in getting out this message so that we can bring Mr. Ferguson to justice. I will then ask the mayor to return. We have additional information that we want to put up on the reward, but she will also be introducing some of the other members of the law enforcement community.

QUESTION: Chief, you mean Miller Park?

VENEGAS: I apologize, yes. Thank you, Ted. Miller Park.

FARGO: Yeah, it was Miller Park, the Sacramento Marina at Miller Park.

As the chief said, we are cooperating with all levels of law enforcement -- the county, the state, the federal levels. And joining us today, representing -- we have a representative of the FBI, and I would like to ask him to come forward now and share some thoughts with you.

ARTHUR BALIZAN, FBI: Thank you.

(CROSSTALK)

BALIZAN: Thank you, mayor.

My name is Arthur Balizan. Last name is spelled B-A-L-I-Z-A-N. I'm B-A-L-I-Z-A-N, Balizan. I'm representing Richard Baker, our special agent in charge, who was not able to be with us today due to travel.

As the community is aware, we are living yet another nightmare here in Sacramento. As we have learned from the Soltys investigation, it is our responsibility collectively -- law enforcement, the media, the community -- to band together and put this sinister chapter to an end.

Many of you are asking the question about the top 10 fugitive status. It's a little premature to be asking questions about the top 10 fugitive status. We have to establish certain parameters first. Should he meet the parameters for that, he will certainly be considered.

Special Agent in Charge Baker has committed all available resources in support of Chief Venegas and the city of Sacramento, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the media for getting the word out to the community, and I implore, ask the community: Please participate in this investigation. If you have any information, please make it available to law enforcement.

Thank you very much.

FRAZIER: That was the FBI's Arthur Balizan speaking there, on behalf of Special Agent in Charge Richard Baker in the Sacramento region.

And we also heard from Chief Arturo Venegas of the Sacramento police, outlining for the people in Sacramento what Mr. Balizan called "another nightmare for them," another manhunt for a multiple killer, this time Joseph Ferguson, who is believed to be responsible for the deaths of four of his co-workers, following the end of a romance that made him despondent and being laid off from his job last week.

He is armed and dangerous, including armed with automatic weapons, they believe, and is believed to be moving about in a car now.

We will bring you more details about this manhunt, the second in as many months for people in the Sacramento area as we get them in the course of our newscast.

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