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
No one was injured.