Gunman Causes Maple Creek School Lockdown
On 09-22-2011, approximately 0945 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriffs office received a call from Green Diamond Security requesting deputies respond to the area of Browns Ridge, Maple Creek near Maple Creek School. Green Diamond security received reports from log truck drivers who were reporting a male behaving erratically and armed with a high powered rifle shooting along the roadway.
Humboldt County Sheriffs Deputies and California Highway Patrol Officers responded to the scene to look for the suspect, along with a California Highway Patrol Helicopter.
The Sheriffs Office immediately notified the Maple Creek School of the suspect possibly in their area, and the school initiated a school lockdown and shelter in place as a precaution.
At approximately 11:10 am deputies notified the school staff that the suspect was determined not to be in the immediate area, and the lockdown was released. Officers remained in the area of the school as a precaution while deputies expanded their search.
At approximately 1:00 p.m. deputies located a suspect matching the description given along logging road approximately one mile behind Maple Creek School. When deputies saw the suspect he was lying down on the ground on top of a loaded assault weapon. Deputies arrested the suspect without further incident. The suspect had a loaded AK-47 type of assault weapon.
Deputies learned that the suspect, Melvin Louis Coffer, 25 years of McKinleyville, was on felony probation with a prohibition from owning or possessing a firearm. Coffer was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, violation of probation and trespass. His bail was set at $50,000.00.