by Hank Sims
From the Sheriff's Office:
Late last night Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a report that a man had been shot on US Highway 101 near Benbow. At about 11:45 p.m., deputies arrived and found that a man had been shot; and the man who shot the other man was the reporting party.
The driver of a truck reported he had been traveling southbound on Hwy 101 when he came upon a man standing in the traffic lanes. The driver, A 26-year-old-man from Gridley, CA, said he stopped to check on the welfare of the man. The driver rolled down his passenger side window to talk with the man, but the man began to act strangely and tried to get into the truck. The driver reported he tried to drive away but the man jumped into the bed of his truck. Records show the driver called 911 via his cell phone several times during the incident but the cellular service was poor and he was disconnected. With the man still in the bed of his truck, the driver grew more concerned as the driver kept hunting knives in the bed where the man was. The man started banging on the rear cab window, eventually breaking it. The man then attempted to crawl into the cab.
The driver stopped his truck and got out after arming himself with a handgun he kept in his truck. The man also got out of the truck ; the driver said he then drew his gun. The man advanced on the driver and they got into a short tussle. The driver ran to the front of the truck and the man got into the driver's seat. The driver reporting hearing the engine rev and he was fearful that the intruder was going to run him over. The driver reported that he ran past the man in the driver's seat and shot at him one time. The man inside the truck was struck by the bullet and remained inside the truck. The driver who shot him remained at the scene until law enforcement arrived.
In addition to the initial deputies who responded, two Sheriff's Detectives and an Evidence Technician responded to the scene to conduct interviews and gather evidence.
The man who was shot was stabilized at a local hospital and then flown to an out-of-the-area hospital and is in stable condition. Detectives will know more when the man is able to provide a statement. Detectives are attempting to confirm his identity.
As of this writing, no arrests have been made and the investigation is in its early stages. Additional information will be released as becomes available and appropriate. Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call Detective Rich Schlesiger at (707) 268-3642.