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