25-Year-Old Sentenced to 20 Years for Shooting at Fish and Wildlife Officer

Press release from the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office:

Today, Judge Feeney sentenced 25-year-old Shawn Hof Jr. of Carlotta, to 20 years in prison for assault with a firearm upon a peace officer (Penal Code section 245(d)(1)) with an enhancement of personally using a firearm (Penal Code section 12022.53(b)), being a felon in possession of a firearm (Penal Code section 29800(a)(1)), using threats and violence upon an executive officer (Penal Code section 69), and negligently discharging a firearm at an occupied vehicle (Penal Code section 246.3(a)). Mr. Hof was also convicted of a misdemeanor violation of “spotlighting,” using artificial light to hunt wildlife (Fish and Game Code section 2005(a)). By law, Mr. Hof must serve a minimum of 85% of his 20-year term because of the serious nature of the offenses.

On August 21, 2016 at about 12:40 am, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Officer Matthew Wells attempted to stop two individuals in a truck who were spotlighting along Redwood House Road off Highway 36 near Carlotta. Mr. Hof fired a .45-caliber pistol approximately six times in the direction of Officer Wells, who was in his patrol truck. A vehicle pursuit ensued, during which Mr. Hof jumped into the passenger seat of the truck, reloaded his pistol, and fired approximately four more times in the direction of Officer Wells. None of the shots hit the officer or his patrol vehicle. The 8-mile pursuit ended when the driver, 19-year-old Thomas Wheeler of Fortuna, lost control of the vehicle and crashed. Mr. Hof and Mr. Wheeler fled the scene, but law enforcement investigators identified the two suspects shortly after. Mr. Hof surrendered to law enforcement officers in August 2017.

The accomplice, Mr. Wheeler, was sentenced last month to a suspended sentence of eight years in state prison for aiding and abetting the assault on a peace officer using a firearm (Penal Code section 245(d)(1)), evading a peace officer with wanton and reckless disregard for person and property (Vehicle code section 2800.2(a)), two misdemeanor violations for allowing another person to shoot from a vehicle, and spotlighting.

Deputy District Attorney Adrian Kamada, who prosecuted the case, stated that, “Officer Wells showed incredible resolve in pursuing the two defendants despite taking fire while alone in a remote area of our County in the middle of the night. I appreciate his dedication to protecting our natural resources and commitment to protecting the public.”

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  • What does 8 yrs. suspended mean?ANYONE?Thanks for explaining… quite a different sentence than Hof… Was he an ok guy w/ the wrong pal? Recently find Jesus?Begging Kamada on bended knees?

    • Suspended means he avoids prison if he stays out of trouble.

    • He stays out of prison as long as he doesnt violate his release conditions. If he violates, they put him in prison for the rest of his original sentence.

    • Think it means he (Wheeler) was caught first and turned the other one in.

      • No Shawn turned himself in! that says a lot for Mr Hof.

        I think 20 years is a bit outrageous. You think Marci Kinchen will get that much? probably not.

        • He will only do 17 if someone does not kill him in prison. Actually he might do well there. Shooting at a cop might give him status, though MISSING 10 times might take some of the shine off that😊

        • I think it is outrageous too, the attempted murderer should have gotten life!!

        • It only says he was scared shitless, they were going to drop his ass. At least 2 times they went looking for him, they had an ambulance staged near by.

  • Muddy Black Dodge

    So glad they got this guy.

  • Wow what a stupid fuck, he is going where he belongs, seriously trying to kill someone for a spotlighting infraction? he probably would have gotten a fine and 25minuets in the Humbolt Hilton even being a felon, instead he will be in prison for almost as long as he has been alive. Doh!


    All I get from this is that DFG is a powerful force. Do murderers even get 20 years nowdays? -Not sticking up for the guy but the GOVERNMENT went ballistic trying to get him. I wonder how many taxpayer dollars went into this. It kind of seems like we are turning into Europe.

    • The problem I have with this is : over 10 shots from a .45 none hit the truck or him in a pursuit in the middle of the night. How can he prove he was shot at. Even with shell casings it’s circumstantial. Seems like the DFG went over zealous in his pursuit putting his life and everyone else’s in danger as he wasn’t protecting the public but a deer. I guess the “friend” turned witness is the only reason this wasn’t plead down or the real story coming out of this lone rangers escapades. At least to me , something isn’t right that it was escolated to such an extreme. Dudes deserve their punishment but since this story came out , it always seemed like someone’s pirsuit of deer poaching went to the next level.

      • So the DFW should never attempt to enforce any law because some idiot might overreact? That criminals decide when they will graciously choose to obey the law and when they won’t?

        They could have just not done the crime in the first place. Or just took their medicine when caught. Or not shot at the officer. They decided to endanger the public. Not the officer.

        Just how safe is the public when criminals wave their guns around to get what they want as if it is some ridiculous video game? How safe will the public be if the law has no teeth?

        • They should but perusing someone who is a threat to persons , not a deer seems to be where we disagree. It was escalated way passed the point when he was shot at and still perused him and perused and perused until they crashed. Yet for some reason not one shot hit a target that my blind grandma would have got with one of those shots. Something doeent add up. He deserves what he deserves but there is definitely some issues with the whole story. Ask any law Enforcement officer if this lone rangers actions are standard protocol without backup or a partner. He made the problem worse. They would have got him anyway with the tools they have at their disposal.

          • Oh you can bet there’s way more to the story. I know how cops and make up charges too, because they are in power and paper work can stick even when it’s bogus. There’s something else going on for sure. He needs some punishment but 20 years in way off.

            If he wanted to hit the officer he would have hit him. Imo it wasn’t “attempted murder” but more like a very serious “assault” (what ever that charge would be, other than “attempted murder” as in a less degree which obviously doesn’t exist. im just trying to open up a perspective here) as it the literal charge of “assault is to make someone apprehensive of imminent danger” not actual contact, just to put it in some perspective. So he probably made the LEO pucker up but he i think the LEO knew very well that he wasn’t going to get hit. I mean, considering the circumstances, over a deer? to risk your life and pursue a person shooting at you…over a deer? really? if Mr Hof was a public threat and people’s lives were in danger, then yeah pursue he guy. But over a fn deer? No, something is Not adding up. There’s got to be more to the story.

          • I don’t know if you read it correctly but what I got was the copper came upon the the guys spotlighting. I assume for common sense reasons the copper tried to confront them or stopped his truck and was going to confront them. You know, like they do when they come upon something that looks fishy. So when the copper stopped or did what he did, this freak tried to shoot the copper and then they took off. So it seems that you think the copper should have just got in his truck and went back to the office and bought a lottery ticket because his luck was running pretty good? I say of course a copper is going to chase somebody who just shot at him. It is kind of what coppers do. Or are you saying the copper should have just drove by when he saw the freaks spotlighting?

          • What tools? And what’s to stop them from continuing their foolish and dangerous game as soon as they lost the officer? And yes, the DFW’s goal is to protect deer among other things. Which, considering what these guys were doing, is needed.

            However once they took off and, worse, shot at the officer, it became about people too. Now people needed protecting from some trigger happy twerp too.

            Too many people think that what they want to do “is not so bad”, decide for themselves what the law should be and treat violating the law like it was a video game. Then complain that it got out of hand because someone else did not have the same happy go lucky, good ol’ boy attitude. The result of that kind of thinking is that some will always make crappy decisions and it will get out of hand dooner or later. And others get hurt.

            • Totally agree with you. It seems to me that folks who willingly make a living by protecting our environment’s critters deserve the same protection.

            • If you don’t know the tools , then you need to educate you on how much is at DFG disposal including a lower degree of PC for search , warrant and seizure law. They have a lab that gets direct results in which most local and county agencies could only dream about. The foresnsic technology , license plate reading technology ,etc , he put the public at danger and himself above any protocol within his dept. the problem is , DFG wardens have been known to be the most dishonest , vigilantic law enforcement around. I know HCSD officers that will privately tell you the same. Lastly , he was staying out for known spotlighters in the area. Basically he knew what he was doing and didn’t just happen on them. BUT , I believe in punishment , and believe if all facts were on the table we wouldn’t see such a harsh penalty yet we would see something.

              • Oh for crying out loud, a DFG officer was out looking for spotlighters in a known spotlight area. Next thing we know the coppers will start having DUI checks on holidays where people drive drunk.

  • The fact is wheeler’s a RAT.

  • It’s not NICE to shoot at LEO’s!!

    Please, make a note of it!

  • Shawn…
    Get an education while your down. Become a lawyer.
    Your life is not over by any means but it is going to be different from here out.

  • Good luck in prison. It’s gonna change you.

  • Hope you like balony sandwiches and chicken a la king dipshit.

  • unbridled phillistine

    Yeppers he is way too small for prison they will pass him around like a bag of chips! Deservedly so Im afraid.

  • He has learned a valuable lesson. Shoot at a cop, get 20 years. A cop shoots you, he gets 2 months paid vacation.

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