Willits Man Shot in Face with Shotgun

Mendocino Co. Sheriff’s Press Release:

On 10/09/11 at about 1355 hours Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office were detailed to the area of Locust St. in Willits regarding a possible assault with a firearm.

Upon arrival Deputies contacted the victim, Jeremy Whitaker who appeared to have been shot in the face with a shotgun.

Deputies learned Whitaker had been involved in a fight with the suspect, William Hardin at Hardin’s residence on Locust St.  The fight had turned physical and Hardin had retrieved a shotgun from the residence.  Hardin then shot Whitaker in the face with the shotgun.

Based on initial observations of Whitaker’s wounds it appeared he had been shot with bird shot from a moderate distance, and the pellets had caused traumatic injuries to the mouth and face of the victim.

Hardin was contacted at the residence and placed under arrest without incident.

EMS personnel were summoned to the scene and transported Whitaker to the hospital.

A search warrant for the firearm, ammunition and trace evidence was issued by the Mendocino County Superior Court.  Deputies served the warrant and collected evidence of the crime from the scene.

Hardin was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of attempted murder.  He is currently held on $650,000.00 bail.

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