Two gunshot victims found in vehicle's trunk after chase, shootout in California desert

A man wanted in connection with a homicide led authorities on a high-speed pursuit in the desert north of Los Angeles before a shootout with officers.

The driver was killed and two people with gunshot wounds were found in the trunk of the vehicle, according to KGET-TV in Bakersfield. The man and woman were hospitalized, according to the television station.

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It was not immediately clear whether the individuals in the trunk were abducted or accomplices of the gunman.

The pursuit began early Friday morning in Ridgecrest, about 150 miles north of downtown Los Angeles in eastern Kern County. Officers responded to a report of vehicle wanted in connection with an investigation into a woman's slaying in Ridgecrest. 

The chase ended after about one hour on Highway 395 at Kramer Junction with an exchange of gunfire. The driver fired at passers-by and officers during the pursuit, according to authorities.

The driver appeared to be using a cell phone during the pursuit, according to authorities.

"We do have some information that he may have been using Facebook," said Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood.

Schools in Ridgecrest were placed on lockdown as a precaution but were later reopened.

No law enforcement officers were injured.