Humboldt County Man Shot at Ruth Lake Campground Thursday in an Apparent Unprovoked Attack

Generic Stock File Photo Emergency Lights Fire Police Ambulance Bokeh by Oliver Cory

Stock photo by Oliver Cory

At 11:03 p.m. Thursday night, a bullet apparently shot from a vehicle driving by the Hobart Creek Campground on the southeast edge of Ruth Lake struck a Humboldt County man camping with family and friends. According to friends who were with him, the bullet struck him in the back and went through his intestines. The man had to be medevacked to an out-of-the-area hospital.

Cathey Wallan, a Southern Humboldt woman, who was with the man when he was shot, is worried that the shooter could hit another person this rodeo weekend. She said that Trinity County deputies suggested that the shooter could have been aiming at road signs but, she thinks that the lights from their camp should have kept a sensible person from shooting in the area. “Did the guy know he would have a clear shot [at the victim] or was it random?” she asked.

Another woman at the camp who spoke to us anonymously tells us she knows the exact time because she was taking a photo of one of the three kids at the camp eating a s’more. Their camping site, #21, was lit by a fire and lanterns so she doesn’t think the shot could have been haphazard.

“There was a truck going by, a loud bang, and our friend fell off the bench,” she said.

According to her, the 33-year-old man yelled, “I got shot!”

Wallan said the shot struck the man in the back and went through his intestines.

A camp hostess, hearing the yells, rushed to the scene. She later related to the group that before the shot that struck the Humboldt County man, she had heard another shot. Other campers later told Wallan that they had heard as many as five shots.

Petrified, some of the seven adults gathered the children into a fifth wheel to protect them through the night. Another camper nearby drove the wounded man to meet an ambulance. The man was then airlifted to an out-of-the-area hospital where he is currently in stable condition.

The bullet was later found near where the man was shot and given to the Sheriff’s deputies, according to Wallan.

Although not much is known about the suspect vehicle, the woman said it was probably a truck, it was loud, it might have had a light bar, and it was traveling from north to south at the time of the shooting.

The Trinity County Sheriff’s Office has not released information at this time and when contacted referred us to the public information officer who won’t be back until Monday.

A spokesperson for the Ruth Lake Campgrounds said that he was unable to speak to the situation as he wasn’t there.

“I’ll never go to Ruth Lake again,” Wallan said. She had planned to go up there every weekend for the next month but she said the idea of someone firing random shots was too terrifying. “You’d expect something like this in Chicago but not in a rural place.”

This weekend is the Ruth Lake rodeo. “You know it will get rowdier,” she said.




  • TCSO is a joke of an organization .

    • So is HCSO at times, I’m wondering if this is the same asshole who shot my window, that HCSO barely made an effort to take a report on!!!! I and several of my neighbors were all the victims of a drive-by shooting a couple of months ago!!!! It was the same type of s(h)ituation a vehicle driving by at like 3 AM!!! While all except an extremely few Night Owls if any were sleeping!!! I was for a change & heard the noise of the window shattering but was too tired to wake up enough to see WTF happened!!! HCSO took 2 days to come & take a report!!! Then had to come back again 2 days later for the bullet & measurements!!! I was tempted to ask our resident deputy here for Hwy 36, if he needed a map to find his ass!!! I live just a couple miles West of Bridgeville in the Swain’s Flat area!!! I have lived here for 30 + years & this is the only time I have had this kind of issue, thank the Gods!!!

      • Liberal hypocrisy

        Weren’t you afraid they (HCSO) would find your meth lab?

        • If you’re referring to me I don’t have a Meth Lab nor do I use that crap!!!! Unlike our POTUS. who is addicted to the prescription form of it, I haven’t used in around 30 or more years!!! I only used it occasionally even then, because I was smart enough to know “Speed Kills”!!! I hope it hurries up & takes out Agent Orange, the sooner the better!!!

          • Dan just set the record for most exclamation points ever used. Congrats Dan, now go get some sleep buddy.

          • Lost Croat Outburst

            Agent Orange?!?! Loving it, dude. Tip of the hat, man. Ain’t it grand? Evangelicals and other Abrahamic conservatives make a pact with the devil and are proud of it. They can’t see what they’ve done, even now. Well, Putin’s prayers were answered. It would be funny if it wasn’t OUR already great nation flushed On November 8, 2016.

    • As is most of the emerald triangles law enforcement!!

  • A loud truck with a light bar and a pit bull n the back…..hmmm ill let Chump take this from here….

    • charles engebretson

      Ha ha ha…devils lettuce has to be a factor here

      • Oh yeah! DRUNKS would NEVER do anything like this!
        (Grow up).

      • Devils Lettuce Crimes

        Yes. It is a factor in almost everything around here these days. The area on all sides of Ruth Lake are full of huge grows. Some of the grows pump directly out of the Mad River and did so in increasing amounts throughout the 5 year historic drought- to water expanding greenhouse and grow operations. The county sheriff looked the other way and did nothing. Water Board sent out some letters then did nothing. Growers blew it up ever more and so why would anybody ever show any respect to any authorities and why wouldn’t the growers not do ever higher amounts of drugs and alcohol to fuel their wild who-cares attitude. It’s all fun and games until the stupidity ends up with regular citizens being shot! Devil’s Lettuce ingestion and the quest for more never-enough cash drive our county into mayhem. One quick response should be the sheriff eradicating all grows within 2-5 miles of the shooting, demonstrating what will happen when an idiot gets out of hand.But he won’t even do that! So yeah-nothing will get better.

        • Lost Croat Outburst

          You have no proof whatsoever about who the shooter was. Most of these incidents involve alcohol or other drugs. We’ll see if a suspect is convicted. Maybe we’ll have to burn down the liquor outlets, using your “logic.” There was plenty of water in the Mad through the drought years, that’s why they built the dam, to keep the flow high all year. Maybe you should smoke a little weed to stimulate your brain; you could use it. Ruth is probably the only public impoundment in the entire State that was at or near full pool through every year of the 5-year drought.

  • >”TCSO is a joke of an organization .”

    Trinity County… huge geographically, no population, no $$$, and a big road network… and lots of sketchy people.

    IMHO: You can’t expect much.

    • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

      Yeah, most roads will be going back to dirt as per their plan.

      All forensic cases are handled by Shasta.

      Don’t forget Whitman was promoted after not wanting to drive to KPom and got his favor following friend slashed up, funny how the 911 tapes weren’t working.

      Also The Big Man On Campus, not Ron, had much unpermitted work on his scene, dumped the wife for chopsticks redhead. Thought office romance was against policy?

      The other Ron was a regular at the Hotel, had sleep issues and dropped about 35lbs, but could always be found there.

      Most times if there’s an issue in Fork, you’ll take a ride and get uncuffed and released at the Summit instead of the trip to Weaverville.

      Only saw stalks burned at the fairgrounds, a camp chopper crashed during the night over in Hum full of fresh cut dope…..

      Take several commercial washers for that dirty laundry.

      • Might wanna keep Ron whitman and the other Ron out of this……might make some people around here upset..,,,this is horrible and to bad mouth two good cops is probably not smart…..both were my cops growing up and are Damn good people

  • May the man shot makes a wondrous and complete recovery and his family have safe travels to be with him.

    Responsible folks do not shoot near others.

    Shooting up road signs is stupid.

    Hope someone turns in the shooter and he or she is brought to justice.

    Thank you to the Good Samaritan who transported the victim!

    May all those camping there get support in the aftermath of this incident.

    What a very scary and awful thing to happen to folks trying to have a great camping experience.

  • All the sheriffs are a complete joke [edit]

  • Thelma Carrington

    Way to be on top of things Harley Carrington .you saved his life .sorry you got there to see it was a buddy .but he is alive and hopefully these cowardless assholes get caught. Had they shot seconds before could have been your trailor with my grandkids in it

    • Cowardless is that a new word I’m unaware of??? Just curious, also I think you meant traiEr not trailOr!!!

  • Sorry state we are in nowadays. No respect, no thought of what results may occur by their actions, live for the moment.
    Many prayers for the man and his family. They shouldn’t have to go through something like this because of some idiot’s foolish actions! Can’t get away from stupidity anywhere! Shameful!

  • What if it had hit a child?! Wtf is wrong with ppl these days?!? Has everyone gone 🦇 💩 crazy?!?

  • I live not far from the rodeo grounds and have attended the rodeos sense I was a little kid. In the last 15 years or so it has gotten so bad with the fights and asshole behavior that I don’t go at all anymore. In the last few years I’ve started bringing all the livestock up close to the house and locking the pets in so they are not near the road. It’s just that bad.
    And camping at Ruth lake…. Not even! Sadly the level of stupid has reached the dangerous point. This saddens me as it use to be a place of fond memories and good times. But when summer comes it just become a place for problems and troubles and a whole lot of idiots who don t care that they are destroying the place for others.

    • HDD, that is a terrible indication of what is happening. I am so sorry you have to deal with this.

      • Kym, has there been any updates on his condition? Hope he’s going to be ok.

        • The only thing I heard is that he is stable which is basically a good thing but the wound sounded terrible.

          • Thanks, I can’t even imagine the shock he and the people camping with him went through. Camping is supposed to be fun yet peaceful time.

            • Yes, it’s supposed to be fun times. All of these growers and their spawn treat these areas like crap. They shoot, run over, and destroy all in their path. All the *COS leave them alone because they fear them. Ruth used to be the best, but now it’s the wild west. Be safe people.

              • Devils Lettuce Crimes

                Agreed! The sheriff should use this shooting as a concrete example of what happens when you let the growers run wild. And eradicate all grows within a 5 mile radius of Ruth Lake. He might get some emergency federal help from AG Sessions office?
                They have gone feral over there and it’s not safe for regular people!

    • Also why I don’t sell beer during hunting season.

  • It’s the end of the world as we know it …and I don’t feel fine.😣

  • Last summer we had a similar situation when staying at Richardson Grove. About 3am someone pulled over on highway 101 southbound in the park and shot at a parks trash can on the edge of a trail maybe 50 feet away with what sounded like a high powered rifle. This was in the direction of two full campgrounds and numerous occupied residences for employees and their families. Luckily, the only injured party was the trash can but it frightening literally hundreds of campers and most of them will probably never stay in the grove again thanks to that. So careless and dangerous especially given there are numerous other options in our rural area to fire a weapon with no chance of casualties.

  • Liberal hypocrisy

    It’s funny a dog gets shot attacking a CHP officer and you guys go ballistic, a guy gets shot out at Ruth eh not so much…. pathetic

    • IMO it’s your comment and attitude that are pathetic. Political views and judgements are irrelevant to this report about a man being shot.

    • Dogs don’t go around shooting other dogs & or people either for that matter!!! The dog was doing her job trying to protect her Mistress & for that her reward was DEATH!!!! Any other stupid comments???

    • Veterens friend

      I think you are missing some part of your cerebral cortex

    • Please go away. Or at least look up the definition of ‘Pathetic’.

    • The dog was not attacking the CHP officer.

    • People are quite upset about this as i read these comments. Perhaps the hypocracy is rattling around in your head!

    • Yeah well and this is not directed to the victim in this case, as i do not know them, it is my firm beleif that anamials are innocent, as they can not be evil however humans after around the age of 16 or so are very nasty evil creatures, so yeah , i have more compassion for a dog then a human in most cases. I will say it again i do not know this victim in this case, so i truely do not know for fact if it was asked for for not and i will not assume. But as for the dog yes we know she was innocent because she was just doing what she was supposed to do.

  • Stupid people with guns isn’t a good combo! Glad he’s doing better.

  • Hillbilly, white trash, dumb fucks are the only ones round here who would do something STUPID and THOUGHTLESS like this. Seems the Emerald Triangle has a lot more in common with thug cities like Chicago than anyone though.

    • No, young pocket rich cannabis growers injesting cocaine and prescription drugs would partake in such absurd behavior, don’t fool yourself.

      • I agree with Boudreaux

        • Won’t know unless they’re caught.

        • I say it is all of the above. Chances are it’s punks on dope and or alcohol. Unfortunately it’s mostly learned behavior and what they can get away with. No accountability to anything or anyone. Many live at home in the family compound and have no need or want to make their own way in life. Lots of free time and more money to do when and what they want to do, with the drug scene funding the behavior. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop! There seems to be more and more people with very little common sense and very little smarts and functioning brains. Some idiots idea of fun has changed someones life forever! Infection is a very real concern with this type of injury. I hope these brain dead criminals will be found and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I also want the victim in this terrible tragedy to be able to make a full recovery.

      • Speculation; your bias is showing.

    • Speculation; your bias is showing.

  • the emerald triangle is the new wild west, they gotta police themselves on the hill, up river & in the woods. whoever is stupid enough to shoot up a family campground should be dealt with accordingly. thank god no one was killed & that poor man who was shot is ok… there were children here!… keep that gun play out of parks & campgrounds morons!…

  • Pretty sad we cant even camp with our familys without worring about stupid assholes anymore. Tcso is a joke a friend went missing about 2 years ago near kettenpom and they wouldnt even do a search because it was ” that” time of year. Lazy ass hats is what they are. Sorry this jas happened to this family. Always need to watch your back mo matter what you are doing these days. Seems the world is getting stupider

  • Except our homes is anywhere safe these days?maybe not even their,unless your armed.💩

  • I love how all these people immediately start bashing the Sheriff’s Office. They were not the dumb asses that were driving around shooting at campgrounds. I bet none of these imbeciles commenting on how horrible the TCSO is never once had the guts or integrity to even think about taking on the thankless, underpaid, underfunded and almost never supported job of law enforcement. Instead of judging them, why don’t you get off you asses and try and help them. Be a good citizen and educate others to not be idiots and recklessly shoot from vehicles. TC is just about as rural as it gets and the county does not have near the deputies, funding or resources to provide the level of service that you all expect from watching CSI Miami. This ain’t television. Answers are not found during commercial breaks. Its like finding a needle in a haystack. I’m disgusted at how you all talk about law enforcement. If you think you can do better, go to the academy and prove it. Reality is, none of you people could probably pass a criminal background to accomplish that.

    • Couldn’t have said it better!

    • Well said Duh.

    • Thank you for backing the TCSO…I agree with you 100%. Bitch moan and groan, yet to see one complainer put on a uniform and have the guts to be a LEO

      • Thing is anyone who would put that uniform on sells their soul, so why would anyone of a sound mind wear that badge?


    • I did take the fucking job that the TCSO didn’t do. (Regarding my case)

      I did what they were trained and paid to do. (Regarding my case)

      They did not do their job. (Regarding my case, and the over dozen missing people last seen in trinity)

      I did their fucking job for free. (Regarding my case )

      I asked if they’d hire me and they brushed it off.

      Trust me, u don’t know diddly.

      • With that attitude I wouldn’t want you to work for me either!!

        • Ya, why hire motivated people.

          I didn’t call the TCSO to vent. I called so they could do their job.

          But my attitude does suck if your on my bad side, so just do your job and we can be neutral or friendly.

          Nice victim blaming too, [edit]

    • I know i could do better for a fact, but will never attampt to as i do not see law enforcement as it is today as being anything i wish to be a part of. There is no way o could enforce laws i do not beleive are legal or just, hence the quality of leos we have today, they sell themselves and their values for a steady paycheck and a blueline, while each and everyday have to do things that are against their moral compasses

      • Sounds like the excuses of a chosen criminal…

        • Well duh! Think what you will of me , you dont matter to me . But rest assured you havent a clue about me or even what i do. Know however that i did wear a uniform for over a decade, and i can no longer support leos . That should tell you something

    • Anyone with common sense and a moral compass would not choose to be in law enforcement in this area, unless they want to do an overhaul of the entire system. They have a job they are getting paid to do, so expecting them to do that job is not skewed hatred against law enforcement. It should be expected of every worker, no matter what their chosen career is. This isn’t some simple television show comparison- this is actual lives of people and animals in the community at risk because of this defunct system.

  • Deputy ron hanover is a joke of all law enforcement. Tcso is a bunch of parasites.

  • Time and time again, we the law obeying citizen is a victim from people who just don’t care and do not take responsibilty for their action. This is the generations that needs to put in the military so they can grow up. No respect for others and no respect for themselves but want you to respect them. I just wish once that these a-holes get caught doing stupid crap by a not so law obeying citizen. Just once!

  • Probably a cocaine fueled incident. That crap is getting out of hand in Mad River

  • This is why we had enough infringements on our 2nd amendmend right, every law abiding citizen should be able to excercise this RIGHT and be able to defend their LIFE , PROPERTY AND POSSESSIONS.
    Waiting on some sheriffs to protect anyone is apparently not happening, let alone find a purpetraitor. This is attempted murder! So theres a murderer on the loose. Wake up sherriff this would be a good time to do some work!
    These guys would have paid with their own life for trying to take someine elses in this manner. Thanks to whiny [edit] that keep stripping us of our rights its a crime to protect our selves.
    And the sheriffs are a total joke, just look around humboldt, the chp officers have way more fire under their ass, they would make better sherriffs!

  • Hey Bigmeat707 well said!
    As soon as i read fifth wheel i knew something was up! Glad hes stable and we hope he will recover fully!
    Love you guys!

  • Just put up a sign with a deer or a bullseye on it and set up a cam, easy catch

    • Shhhhh! that’s how dfw catches poachers. Or at least how they used to, too bad bruckinstein (can’t remember if that’s how it’s spelled) isn’t around anymore, that guy was an animal. People thought twice about screwing up when he was around, that guy would be everywhere!

  • The Apache Warrior

    This is for “Liberal hypocrisy”, my only comment to you is “WHY DON’T YOU LEAVE THE COUNTRY” [edit] And for the rest of you so-called citizens, I hope that you never ever have to call of Law Enforcement to save your worthless hides. If I was a LEO and knew you were calling for help, I’d stop off at a café and have a cup of coffee. Why waste our time on “people” like you. Get a LIFE.

  • Thinking allowed

    In the midst of the “hate cops, adore pot” spew, I would like to thank the sheriff department personnel who did respond as fast as was possible when I called about some idiot shooting. It had been going on for about a week- some twerp walking up and down the side road, randomly shooting, at about 10 pm for an hour or so. Every night. One night I flicked in the porch light stepped out and immediately the guy fired from about 100 ft away on the road. I’d had it.

    I called, the police came with light flashing, the gun went silent and was never heard again. Police presence can sometimes stop stupid acting out even if it can’t stop stupid.

  • Greatest comment thread EVER.

  • Sherry Ridenour

    There were no drugs involved!!! This was a family reunion. [edit: He was talking about the bar not this event–Kym]

  • What does Jake have to say about this?
    The lease holders are NOT HAPPY!

  • Tons of cocaine in Mad River!

  • The amount of bagging on the sheriff’s in this comment thread is ridiculous to me.. sheriff’s are people doing a job. Yes! There are absolutely those power-hungry assholes that should not have gotten the job in the first place but they are not the majority. The majority of them are people who went into law enforcement to try and make the world a better place. Right the wrongs, and so forth. Police officers are put under strict scrutiny by the public, and now social media. The liability of every decision they make, and the fact that they never know what any given person that they interact with is capable of forces them to train to be assholes.. To put it blatantly. As a law-abiding citizen who tries to live their life in a good way it is extremely aggravating to be spoken to in the manner that police officers speak to a suspect. I do not react well to being commanded to do things. But guess, what I do what I’m told when the man has a badge and a gun. I treat them like human beings and they come around to treating me like a human being. Yes I have had instances where I had to speak with the police. Yet, I have never been arrested. I have never been put in cuffs. By the end of the interaction I’ve always walk away. Never once being unjustly accused of something. Treat them with respect and they will do the same to you. Police officers are not your enemy. The sheriff’s department is not your enemy. Figure that crap out people! You are much of the problem!
    I’m also curious why nobody has brought up this next point. Being a young man in this area with a country background I have seen all kinds of jackassery over the years. I have never taken part in the activity but shooting road signs is nothing new here. These idiots in this truck that discharged their firearm in an inhabited area should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law! if for no other reason than being stupid and irresponsible. I personally have no doubt that whoever this was, was not doing it maliciously. They were ignorant dumbass young men who were drunk and being extremely irresponsible. Especially with the rodeo so close there are a lot of young men making poor decisions in that area.. Im assuming these young men might be the type 2 helping old lady across the street when they’re sober and in a normal setting. When you get a bunch of young country hicks drinking together with nothing to do, the shit storm steamrolls into a hurricane.. I’m not defending these pukes. Just giving another perspective. I grew up country in this hippie Society. I know what boys will do when they’re out having “fun”. Good luck to the Humboldt and Trinity County Sheriff’s departments! I have no doubt you will do your best. And my condolences to the gentleman who got shot. May you have a speedy recovery and watch these idiots get what they deserve for what they did.

  • agent orange vet

    Am coming out and see my son in Humboldt this summer and will be pack’in when at Ruth and like to stay up all night fishing and waiting for assholes to pull stupid shit. Don’t need cops .Take care of shit ourselves.

  • I have been going to Ruth since 1981. The meth heads in and out of Ruth not to mention the drunkards with red faces and ugly attitudes, who hang out everyday and sit on the picnic table there are all low grade trailer trash. Ruth has been a sewer among the beautiful forest for decades. If these incidents are not solved less and less good folks will not camp by the lake. Or give their business. Revenue will be lost by the few businesses that are nearby Ruth Lake. It is a real pity.

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