- Associated Press - Thursday, December 24, 2015

COLTON, Calif. (AP) - A Southern California man was arrested Thursday in connection with the deaths of two people in separate shootings about 60 miles east of Los Angeles, authorities said.

Jason Barton, 38, was arrested outside a San Diego taco shop on suspicion of intimidating a worker at the shop and drug possession.

He was taken back to Riverside County, where more charges were expected to be filed next week.

Barton fatally shot a woman behind a gas station around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Colton police Cpl. Ray Mendez said, adding that Barton and the 37-year-old woman had been romantically involved.

Twenty minutes later, Barton shot a man and a woman in Moreno Valley, Riverside County sheriff’s Deputy Armando Munoz said. The man died.

Barton’s stepmother, Eunice Barton, told The Associated Press the victims of that shooting are Jason Barton’s father and sister.

Eunice Barton said her stepson had been in and out of mental hospitals and that her husband expressed concerns about his well-being. Additionally, she said Jason Barton’s own son had been shot three times last week and may never walk again.

“It seems like he just snapped and couldn’t take any more,” she said. “He’s a very good kid. I just didn’t understand sometimes what was wrong with him.”

Mendez said it was too early to tell the motive but police believe Jason Barton was high on methamphetamine and expressing paranoid thoughts before the crime spree.

It was unclear whether Barton had been assigned an attorney.

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