Mendocino County Sheriff Alleges Possible Grower Shot at Deputy
Mendocino County Sheriff Press Release:
On 06-11-2013 at 0836 hours Special Agents from the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force (MMCTF) arrived at a piece of property located in the 20000 block of Tomki Road in Willits, California.
The MMCTF Special Agents had recently obtained a search warrant based upon an investigation that showed an illegal marijuana growing operation was in existence on the property.
The Special Agents were assisted in the search warrant service by members of the County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team, California Department of Fish & Wildlife, California Highway Patrol Aviation Division and Mendocino County Probation Department.
Upon arrival a MMCTF Special Agent (Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff), a California Department of Fish & Wildlife Warden and a Mendocino County Probation Officer encountered a suspect, described as being a Hispanic adult male dressed in camouflage clothing.
The suspect fled on foot into the property’s heavily wooded terrain and failed to comply with verbal commands to surrender.
The three listed law enforcement personnel began a search for the suspect who appeared to be unarmed.
During the search the suspect emerged from an area of bush approximately 30-40 yards from the Deputy Sheriff.
The suspect was armed with a handgun and immediately shot at the Deputy Sheriff, possibly multiple times. The Deputy Sheriff shot back at the suspect who then fled off into the heavily wooded terrain once again.
Additional law enforcement resources were summoned to the property as a more intensive search was conducted for the suspect.
The law enforcement resources included personnel from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Fish & Wildlife and CalFire prevention officers.
After several hours of searching the suspect was not located and the search was suspended due to safety concerns.
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office in collaboration with the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office is conducting an investigation into the shooting incident per county-wide protocol.
The Deputy Sheriff has been placed on paid administrative at this time.