Police in Bakersfield say six people are dead, among them a gunman who went on a shooting rampage on Wednesday night and killed his wife and four others.

Authorities say that the gunman went to a trucking company with his wife.

It was there that he and another male at the business entered into an altercation.

The husband pulled his gun and then shot the man, police said. He then turned the gun on his wife and shot her.

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When another man showed up, the gunman began to give chase. He ran him down and shot him, according to authorities.

The gunman then wandered toward a nearby road and approached two people near a home. He shot both of them dead, police said.

The man then hijacked a car with a woman and a child inside. After the woman and child escaped, he pulled over to the side of a road and shot himself in the chest.

"This is highly unusual to have six people shot and dead in one incident," Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood told The Bakersfield Californian.

The trucking company where the shootings began is near Bear Mountain Sports in Bakersfield. Photo / Supplied
The trucking company where the shootings began is near Bear Mountain Sports in Bakersfield. Photo / Supplied

Sheriff's deputies are interviewing some 30 people who witnessed the shootings.

Investigators believe that the gunman acted alone. So far, they are declining to reveal the identities of the deceased.