TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Alan Ashmore, 61, also may have started a small fire as he fled law enforcement Monday in the lakeside community, Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin said, AP reported.
The motive for the attacks remained a mystery.
"We don't know whether the shootings were all targeted, if they were random or if they were a combination," Martin said.
Lake County District Attorney Don Anderson told San Francisco's KPIX-TV that "I think he was almost targeting everybody, everybody he had a grudge with and also random citizens."
The attacks began shortly before 11:30 a.m. and stretched over several miles as Ashmore drove from place to place and then tried to flee sheriff's deputies, authorities said.
The gunman first fired at several homes and a car, killing a man in a house and another in the car. He then allegedly wounded a woman in the foot and shot an arriving California Highway Patrol officer. The officer's body armor protected him, and he wasn't badly injured, Martin said.
Ashmore then went to a Chevron station, where he shot at but missed a vendor who was leaving the station's convenience store, according to the county Sheriff's Office.
Surveillance video then shows Ashmore walking through the convenience store with a rifle, grabbing a 2-liter soft drink from a refrigerator and walking out, KCRA-TV reported.
Ashmore then fired again at the vendor and missed. The vendor, who had a license to carry a concealed weapon, grabbed a gun from his truck and fired at Ashmore, hitting his sport utility vehicle, authorities said.
Pat Kelly, 52, of Clearlake Oaks said he was at the Chevron station when he saw a sport utility vehicle screech to a halt and a gunman jumped out and went to the store.
"Oh, there was eight to 10 or a dozen gunshots in rapid succession," Pat Kelly told the San Francisco Chronicle. "There was another guy parked behind me. He was hiding behind his gas pump, and I was hiding behind my gas pump."
Kelly said he got back into his car, sped away and went to another gas station about a mile away, only to find the shooter had gone there, too.
"He was parked right there," Kelly said.
Ashmore stole cigarettes and demanded a lighter from the clerk at gunpoint before driving away, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Ashmore also shot at workers at a winery and then led sheriff's deputies on a chase before he surrendered at a roadblock, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Several guns were found in his vehicle.
Ashmore was known around town, Martin said.
"He spent some time in prison. He's got several arrests locally," the sheriff told KPIX-TV.