Man Arrested After ‘Shooting Directed at a Cal Fire Crew” During Deadly Wildfire, According to the Mendocino Sheriff’s Office

John Maxwell HeronThis is a press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

On 10-14-2017 at approximately 12:02 AM Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies along with several other law enforcement officers from other county and municipal jurisdictions responded to a shooting directed at a Cal Fire crew that were engaged in fire suppression/prevention efforts in the 10000 block of West Road in Redwood Valley, California.

There were multiple law enforcement officers from several agencies providing mutual aid patrolling in Redwood Valley area due to the Mendocino Lake Complex Fire.

Deputies conducted an investigation and learned the Cal Fire crew and their fire engine were parked on John Maxwell Heron’s property.   The Cal Fire crew heard a male shouting at them from the residence on the property and then heard gun shots coming from the area where the male was shouting.

The Cal Fire crew quickly departed and contacted law enforcement.

While Deputies were investigating the incident Heron contacted 911 to report intruders on his property and that he had discharged his firearm.

Heron was subsequently contacted in front of his residence and he resisted arrest when law enforcement officers attempted to arrest him due to his negligent discharge of his firearm.

Heron was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on the listed charges and was to be held in lieu of $15,000.00 bail.



  • Did the CalFire crew have any lights flashing on their engine? Real dark but no excuse for firing a weapon into the dark either. Need to see how this plays out. Glad no one was hurt

    • Have to keep in mind this was only a few days after the worst of the fires and everybody was on edge and there was a reasonable concern about looters. So I would be wondering if the crew was visible. As for firing the weapon in the dark it could have been a warning shot way high. Which is reasonable in a situation where somebody feels threatened. That area could well have been without electricity due to the fires so completely dark.

      • Please! If a warning shot MUST be fired, pick a soft, close and LOW area; not “high.” The wasted shot is going to go somewhere…hopefully where the shooter can account for its arrival. What goes up must come down.

        • Yes and comes down with the weight of a quarter. Don’t worry it won’t hurt…

          • That “quarter” comes down at the rate of 32 feet per second SQUARED. Check out that problem with folks firing into the air to declare “victory” in the Middle East…

          • You are dangerously wrong, as usual. Google “indirect fire.”

          • Bullshit people have been killed from bullets being shot in the air and falling hitting innocent people

          • Bullshit……dozens of people are killed every year by spent rounds. In Tet 67 four guys in our camp were shot with spent rounds from 1+ miles away. It was raining bullets .

        • I would never discharge a firearm in a situation, unless I intended to kill the subject I consider life threatening to me, or my loved ones.

  • dementia and guns goes well.

    • He looks like he is in his 80’s. It sounds like he might have some mental health issues. Hope he gets some proper care to deal with whatever is going on with him. With all the hard drugs being ingested these days, there will be a lot less of these old coots to worry about in the future!

  • This is crazy! He needs to be locked up or put in a mental institution, do we still have those?

  • I’m gonna need more details on this one before I can make up my mind…
    Sounds like he may have truly believed there were intruders, however, it was the 14th which means the fire had been going on for days. Wasn’t he aware of the fire & crews working? Did Calfire have lights on or announce themselves? Did he actually shoot at them or a warning shot in the air? Did they ever shout back who they were?
    A ton of questions & we will probably never get any answers…

    • You’re right, we don’t have the details, hopefully we’ll get them.

    • Everyone except the dead knew there was a massive fire.
      Cal Fire had massive presence in that neighborhood.
      Cal Fire doesn’t have to “announce “ themselves to the landowner.
      A warning shot is singular. Cal Fire reported hearing “gunshots “.
      Unless this guy is sight and hearing impaired, there’s no excuse. Surprised he hasn’t shot at pge, or somebody else before this.

  • Double speak outside of cheek

    Wow. Be interested to hear what his reasoning is. So dangerous for the Cal Fire crew. As if fires weren’t bad enough.

  • He was probably scared,thought they were looters maybe.Cal fire has a dangerous enough job.wonder how many scared folks out there who have lost everything in those wildfires,would do the same thing to protect what’s theirs?so many thieves out there ready to take advantage of folks.just a thought!Thanks CAL Fire for the job you do

  • These brave people are placing themselves in danger to protect his property and then he freaking thanks them by shoot at them… WTF?? The judge needs to put this nasty old asshat under the freakin jail.

    • Trillium Hummingbird

      Whoops! Watch what you say about nasty old asshats! Prejudice does not reflect well upon your tendency to be a whack job with an attitude problem…

  • Well shit here in the Pines the gun fire goes on Day and night and some dickhead has a full auto

  • >”placing themselves in danger to protect his property and then he freaking thanks them by shoot at them… WTF??”

    Did somebody say he shot ‘at’ CDF … or did they just hear gunshots.
    IMHO: Likely he discharged a gun into the ground or air to ‘scare’ the intruders off.

    Still not a good idea though, typically only use a gun if you are directly ‘threatened’
    but, I guess if you lived out in the woods and were worried about looters. Dunno.
    Better wait for evidence to specify… ‘mental institution’.


  • Another democrat bernie voter!

  • Those CDCR fire crew’s were there trying to save this old assholes property. So YES he should be locked up for attempted murder. Anyone else would be. What is it because they are inmates that their lives don’t matter just like anyone else’s? Bullshit these guy’s are working their asses off to help save stranger’s property and do deserve respect. Thank God almost all the people who live there are a 1000 times so thankful for everyone helping trying to save their homes. But I guess it figures there is always one nut job who isn’t the least bit thankful. God Bless all of you involved with Cal Fire and every firefighting team out there and every person helping with those awful fire’s.

  • Warning shots save lives.

  • Another Hillery backer gets arrested. Our tax dollars at work.
    What crazy nut shoots at firefighters?

  • Anon for obvious reasons

    Hey, we have a nutjob out here past PV and in PV who dressed up like a Calfire worker
    who claiming to BE IN CHARGE of the FIRE and giving out false info plus trying to turn around unsuspecting out of town crews and NO ONE is happy and everyone is BESIDE Themselves, including most of all the FFers. Also known for impersonating other officials, Caltrans workers etc…..drives a silver grey Toyoto Tundra P/ up with orange light on top and VietNam Vet sticker on the windshield ( not a vet either! ) Been up to this for years now and we have had enough.

    ANYONE who sees this guy , please call 911, please pretty please !
    CA PLATES 8E96117

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