[UPDATE Monday:] Schoolchildren on Outing in the Manila Sand Dunes Forced to Huddle Under a Tree as Bullets Struck Nearby, Says Parent

Last Thursday, after shots rang out near a group of schoolchildren getting ready for a lantern walk at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center in Manila west of Eureka, frightened parents and kids were forced to search for shelter, multiple 911 calls were sent, and the event was eventually canceled.

Allegra Brucker, a mother and business owner whose children attend the Coastal Grove Charter School, said that on Thursday around 5 p.m. she, her husband, and children pulled up in their minivan into the parking lot near the Nature Center and started to exit their vehicle when she heard, “Pop, pop, pop.”  Brucker said she saw flashes from across Hwy 255. “I thought it was fireworks,” she said.

“That’s gunshots,” her husband said.

Another father was on the sand dune yelling that someone was shooting, explained Brucker describing the chaotic scene.

“Most of the kindergarten class,” Brucker said, were “huddled under [a] tree. Everyone…started to scatter.” Later, she said, one of the other parents told her “they could hear bullets hitting the tree that the kids had been in.”

“Call 911. Get back in the car,” Brucker said her husband told her. She and her children crouched below the windows while her husband and others searched for where the shots were coming from. “My older son was pretty freaked out,” Brucker explained.

According to Sgt Greg Allen of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, “We got the first call around 5:02 p.m.” Then, he said, the dispatch center received reports from “multiple callers saying they heard about 8 to 10 shots.”

The Sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene shortly afterward. No further shots were heard. Allen said the shooter wasn’t located. The school event was canceled.

Brucker’s husband attempted to locate the shooter that night. He said a couple of the neighbors helped him narrow down roughly where the shooter came from. But he wasn’t able to locate the culprit.

The next day he came back looking for evidence. He found a trailer with what he called fresh bullet holes in a direct line from where the shots appeared to be coming from to the Nature Center.

Bullet holes in a trailer

A nearby trailer has fresh bullet holes, according to Brucker’s husband. [All photos from him]

He added, “[T]here are roughly 14 smaller caliber bullet holes and 6 larger caliber holes in the front of this trailer…The bullet holes do not look like they are old. The metal and fiberglass is ripped fresh. The metal is gleaning. No fading, molding, or moss growing as well.”Bullet holes in a trailer

He wrote us that some of the neighbors told him that some of the residents shoot in the air or fire “intimidation shots” at each other occasionally.Bullet holes in a trailerThis may have just been a careless shooter not a deliberate attempt to hurt anyone, agreed Brucker who said she didn’t think about the recent shootings at a music event and at a church when the shots were fired. “I didn’t really go to that place until later,” she explained. “I never thought that someone was purposefully shooting at us though I think it went through my husband’s mind.

Whether intentional or not, she is upset. “That is frightening that we should have to deal with that…This was a school function. There was a bunch of kids and bullets flying. It was not a good scene.”

The red marker shows where the Nature Center is located. The parking lot is the asphalt area to the east. Between the parking lot and the Nature Center to the northwest is where the children were huddled beneath the tree while the shots reportedly flew overhead. 

UPDATE Monday: Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

Starting at about 5:00 PM on Thursday, 11/09/17, dispatch received four 911 calls regarding “Shots heard” in the area of Friends of the Dunes on Stamps Lane in Manila. Deputies responded and contacted numerous concerned citizens who were starting to arrive for the annual “Lantern Walk” through the dunes. Several individuals said they heard bullets “whizzing” over their heads and a few individuals said one or two bullets struck a nearby tree where they were standing in the parking lot. One individual said she saw a muzzle flash coming from across HWY 255.

The general consensus was that they heard three to four volleys of gunshots for a total of ten to fifteen rounds. One individual said the gunshots sounded like .22 rounds. Deputies spoke with the coordinator of the event who said everyone “sheltered in place” when they began hearing the gunshots. The coordinator canceled the event.

Deputies checked the area extensively for any suspicious subjects. No one was located. Deputies spoke with three to four individuals who reside on Peninsula Drive who indicated they heard the gunshots and they agreed with the above individual’s assessment of shots heard.

Deputies checked the area on foot for any evidence, including spent rounds, but with negative results. Deputies returned to Friends of the Dunes and updated the coordinator with this information.

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72 comments

  • Intimidation shots? As a lifelong gun owner I find that just disturbing, somebody needs to have an intimidation ass beating if they are doing something that idiotic and dangerous. As for this story, there is not a safe place to shoot anywhere on that peninsula.

    • Anyone check inside the trailer? Odds are, someone who is that careless probably has a record and has no legal right to POSsess a gun. Anyone firing an intimidation shot should be ready to die. Neighbors of the mentally deficient gunslingers should stand up and prosecute.

    • What about the Redwood Gun Club which is north of the Nature Center? http://redwoodgunclub.org/

      • Lost Croat Outburst

        The Redwood Gun Club puts a very high emphasis on safety of members and the public. The range is not open every day. If residents are firing warning shots at each other, that would not be the gun club. It would be bat-shit crazy.

        • I’m sorry. I was responding to the “there is not a safe place to shoot anywhere on that peninsula” and though I’ve never been there, I understand it is a safe place to shoot.

          • When I was in the Coast Guard we shot out there all the time…plenty of safe back stops out there. The question is, is anyone now a days smart enough to shoot out there, and no is the resounding answer…

      • Lundbar Hillbilly

        The RGC range is not open Thursdays.

    • Dwayne Elizondo Bigleggins

      I find it disturbing that the father is doing the sheriff’s job.

    • You hear gunshots in the evenings and at night very frequently in Manila. I assure you it isn’t from the gun range. It’s a mill town that doesn’t have a mill anymore. Nothin to do but drink, tweak, and beef with the other hopeless locals. Also, all the displaced hobos from behind the mall live in the dunes now, but i guess Walmart is happy, so it’s all good.

    • Update: We didn’t do shit to investigate ’cause we don’t actually care about public safety, but since there’s a story about it now, we have to do a press release. I could go for a couple of jelly filled at Don’s. How early do we have to get up tomorrow to go roll a grower and get paid?

    • Huh…you are a minority amongst the gun owners and NRA gun nuts.

  • It’s this kind of bullshit that gives gun owners a bad rap, irritates the hell out me, I hope they catch the asshole before he kills someone with his/her careless behavior there’s NO excuse for this, thankfully no one was hurt! Especially a bunch of kids!

  • Seriously Humboldt? With the rampant opiod use, the needles everywhere found, the hit and runs, the shooting at kids, the homicide rates, etc.. this is what we are looking forward to leave for our children and their children?

    When a society is complacent in illegal activity, no matter the way you feel about a policy, this is a product of those rewards. We have big city problems for a small town.

    • whokilledourdaddy

      i got sick and tired too, now my family and i live in N.Idaho. Best move we ever made,my grandsons now have options and opportunities when they are grown.

    • Complicit in now legal activity .
      The problems you are referring to are not caused by locals . Outside People brought big city problems here .
      Other places are much worse and don’t have the so called complicity towards illegal activity. Quit blaming humboldt and start looking at the social policies framing the picture you see .
      Why are there so many homeless ? Why are there so many drug users and drugs ? What have you done to make the world a better place ?
      The entire west coast is dealing with a massive homeless population increase . That is the root of our new found crime wave . It is not a “Humboldt “ thing . It’s a failing society thing .

      • Drone pollinators inc.

        What a crock of bull. Society. The homeless are more than capable of working a job and fitting in. And yes it is an opioid infested place but that’s not an excuse. More democratic whining. Excuse for everything.

        • SO,
          do ya know where I can locate a kilo of pollen for my drone to do an aerial casting with? 🙂

          anon traveler
          (ducks and runs)

      • the entire western half of America is dealing the negative side effects of not educating your kids. most of what make the news and in mug shots are locally raised losers. just like the news almost everywhere else.

        • Most of the eastern side of America is dealing with the same negative effects of poor education.

          • poor education is a different story all together. the town I grew up in wasn’t poor and the public school system is ranked in the top 20 for the nation and as expected very few did poorly in life. I am referring to not educating, as in allowing your kid to drop out or saying shit like “liberal indoctrination” at the dinner table. the west is completely different than the east in so many ways.

    • Right if your going to take someone out your saying take out a junkie?

  • the police should have done a better investigation on this incident especially with children involved. Brucker’s husband did a better job.
    Whoever fired those shots should go to prison.

  • I’m a full on gun guy but lord how I hate an fool-ass shooter. I really hate their guts and livers.

  • Highway 254 is the avenue of the giants… lol

  • People should be required to take safety courses before owning a gun. I am glad everyone is OK.

  • Eureka ,and surrounding areas have become batshit crazy.

  • fuckwalterwhite.com

    So…the cops arrived and did nothing?
    That’s how the article sounds.

    The neighbors tried to help the dad locate the firing position? The dad located evidence?

    What did the cops do again?

    If they can’t help investigate multiple shots toward children at a nature center,what hope is there at all?

  • There is no excuse!

  • Welcome to Humboldt

    Sorry kids. There is a shooting range right there .Manila is known for the craziness. So…. Like I said. Welcome.

    • The shooting range is open Saturdays and Sundays until 4 p.m. This was a Thursday at 5 when it was almost dark and it was rainy. The range is to the north. Witnesses placed the shots as coming from the east.

  • It was that dick Cyrus.

    • Jay 2 the are oh see

      He acts all hard, like he’s from the trailer park, but he ain’t FROM the trailer park… Know what I’m sayin’?

  • So bullet holes look like they are being shot from inside the trailer?! Probley some tweeker held up in there shooting at shit that isn’t there like demons n dark spirits

  • Kym Kemp the Redwood Gun Range is off Young Ave in Manilla, Ca you go and take a right turn at the end of the road and go 3/4 of a mile and it is on the left hand side through the gates. Just letting you know how to let people know how to get there. I target shoot out there alot. Thanks

  • surprised the pissed off father didn’t find any casings he could of brought to have fingerprinted

  • should it take 4 days to get news of a shooting in a public area?
    hcso, y’all better hurry and swear in a new information/communications officer – it’s a matter of public safety.
    those poor kids.

  • How is this not Attempted Murder? PLEASE turn this person in if you know who it was. They could have murdered a child.

  • Why Does Humboldt law enforcement refuse to do their job ?.Why would they have not followed up on this? Seems like it was easy for the father he made time.I can’t believe law enforcement refuses to do any follow ups .day after day.why can’t they knock on a few doors?Rattle these tweeks abit hold them accountable.
    you bet your ass if a law enforcement officer s child was on that field trip, there would have been a bigger response.

    Sad and pathetic police work.
    There is still time to do your job

    • >you bet your ass if a law enforcement officer s child was on that field trip, there would have been a bigger response.

      This.

      This just isn’t right.

  • Hope the kids are ok..how horrible that not much is being done about this

  • Someone shoots a gun at school children and this is not Humboldt headline news? What is wrong with this picture? Why is this the only paper telling the story? Who was the deputy that didn’t walk around and see where the shooting was coming from? It looks like the bullets went through the trailer. Was there a person inside it? Anyone in the neighborhood hear the gunshots? Hard not to. No one is talking, what are they covering up?

    • probably a relative of someone that thinks they are important but in reality just a product of nepotism. I got shot at while paddling up the mad river in my canoe (the pumpkin patch property was the location of the shots). I called the sheriff and they did nothing. I don’t even think they logged it.

  • Was anyone really fired upon or did they here gunshots of careless shooting at a junk camper nearby? I here gunshots many times here in SoHum & never thought I had to hide behind a tree.

    CA requires taking a firearm safety test to get a Firearms Safety Certificate in order to buy a gun from legal sources. The dirt bags & low life crowd invading this area don’t get their guns legally.

    • You can buy the gun first before going to the safety course, and then there is no follow-up if you never go. People bitch and complain about “commy California” and the horrendous gun laws here. What a bunch of baloney! California requires it but does not enforce it. I know…I am a gun owner who purchased from a legal source, and was never required to do this – the dealer only informed me of this requirement.

  • Equipped with a flashy new Stingray the Humboldt county sheriff and his gallant officers literally raced to the scene of an active school shooting, while CHP effectively shut down all vehicular routes to the area just as the coast guard helicopter secured the airspace and utilized their optical and perspective advantages to….should be the storyline here. That would boost public relations, that would boost recruitment, that would be what I thought we are paying for.

  • Kudos to Mr. Brucker!!!

  • Kudos to all who stand up and take action. If more community members and citizens rise up and take action maybe just maybe, we can make a change in our communities.
    It truly takes a village to raise a child.

    Kudos to our law enforcement. One that is severely taxed trying to cover such a large and ruggedly retrained county with an extremely unusual high crime rate. Any help they can get is most likely appreciated.

  • Before my son was allowed a hunting license he had to pass hunter safety course.

  • I’M SICK OF THIS SHIT! (yes, I am YELLING!) poor babies – the horror they must have experienced! The parents too! Are you paranoid NRA gun nutters still unsatisfied that you have your full rights yet? Do you still think you are still so important that the big bad government is going to come get you? Do you think there are still too many laws (which are largely unenforced any-fucking-how) infringing upon your rights? Do you have your freaked out “bug-out” Armageddon plan in place? Please…just move to the South Pole where you will be safe from all the big baddies who are coming to get you or steal your precious toys.

  • Those kids and parents are going to have nightmares and will have reservations about going to the dunes and nature center. Some one over there knows who it was …they need to step up! But also call or write to the sherriff’s department to make sure they step up!

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