Eureka Man Shot At After Confronting Miranda Man About Animal Abuse



Humboldt County Sheriff Press Release:


On 06-09-2011, approximately 8: 00 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received

a 911 call from a 23-year-old Eureka man who said he was just shot at by an unknown person

on the side of US 101 near the Miranda Bridge, Miranda. The victim had been parked in the

turnout working on his vehicle when the assault occurred. The victim told the dispatcher he was

hiding in a wooded area near the bridge waiting for law enforcements arrival. The California

Highway Patrol (C.H.P.) and Humboldt County Sheriffs Deputies responded to the scene.


As the C.H.P. Officer arrived on the scene, he saw a male subject, later identified as Thomas

Leonard Lusk, 29 years of Miranda, flee the area of the victim’s car and try to hide in the

bushes. A Humboldt County Deputy Sheriff joined the C.H.P. Officer at the scene about the

same time this occurred. The officers ordered Lusk out of the bushes and he complied. They

detained Lusk in the deputies’ patrol car. They learned Lusk was not the victim who had called

911, and the victim was still on 911 hiding from the suspect. The victim then revealed himself to

the officers after learning they were on scene.


The victim told the deputies he was working on his broken down vehicle on the side of

US 101 in a turnout, when he saw a subject (Lusk) mistreating a dog. He verbally confronted

Lusk about mistreatment of his dog. Lusk got angry, threatened to shoot the victim and rode off

on a bicycle. The victim went back to working on his vehicle.


About five minutes later Lusk returned on his bicycle now carrying what appeared to be

a rifle. Lusk started shooting at the victim who fled into the bushes and called 911. Lusk entered

the victims’ vehicle and began removing the victims’ property, which is when law enforcement

arrived. The victim identified Lusk as the person who shot at him. Deputies located a loaded

shotgun near the victim’s vehicle hidden in the bushes. Deputies also located witnesses in the

area who corroborated the victim’s account as to what occurred.

After deputies informed Lusk he was under arrest, he began kicking the inside of the

deputies’ patrol car, damaging it. He was transferred to another deputy’s patrol car, and kicked

the interior of this deputy’s car too, causing damage.

Lusk was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of assault

with a deadly weapon, unlawful discharge of a firearm, robbery, and vandalism. His bail is set

at $100,000.00.

No one was injured.



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