One Dead, One Hospitalized After Arcata Shooting

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The scene of the shooting. - TONY WALLIN
  • Tony Wallin
  • The scene of the shooting.
One man is dead and another is hospitalized after a shooting near the intersection of Foster and Alliance in Arcata just before 10 p.m. Sunday.

The shooting reportedly occurred amid a marijuana sale-gone-wrong, when four Eureka men attempted to sell cannabis to a single buyer, Arcata Police Chief Brian Ahearn told Redwood News.

Ahearn said the buyer — a white male wearing a grey sweatsuit and a green camouflage jacket — pulled a handgun and opened fire, striking two of the sellers. The suspect then fled on foot and should be considered armed and dangerous, according to Ahearn.

As of 1 a.m. the suspect remained at large, Ahearn said.

Tony Wallin, a journalism student at Humboldt State, said he came onto the scene between the skate park and Alliance Road almost immediately after the shooting.

“I was driving west down Foster right before Alliance,” he said. There, in front of him, a man lay in his lane on his stomach.

“His face was bloody,” Wallin said. “I pulled around him and stopped partly in the bicycle lane and [partly] in the street.”

As he was parking, Wallin said another car was heading east on Foster and its occupants started shouting, "Call the cops. we've been shot. They were trying to rob us."

Wallin said he immediately called 911. Meanwhile, another car heading east stopped and two international travelers on vacation, Sharon Martanas, of the Netherlands, and her friend Augusto from Argentina got out.

“While I’m on the phone with the cops … Martans and Augusto pulled over and proceeded to help the three males," Waling said, adding that they dragged "the male victim on the ground into the back seat of their rental vehicle. The victim was covered in blood, unconscious and bleeding from the mouth.”

“Those three were distraught," Wallin said of the other robbery victims. "That was their friend and you could hear it. They were saying his name. They were shook …their friend was dying and you could feel it. It was very sad and very emotional.”

“Before they could start driving, the cops had already arrived ... I would say within three minutes an officer was there ... We kinda backed off. An officer ran up and tried to resuscitate the victim in the back seat. No response.”

Wallin said nine or ten officers were on scene, including Police Chief Brian Ahearn and Lt. Todd Dockweiler.

“The ambulance then took the victim away from the crime scene as Arcata Police Chief Brian Ahearn cautioned taped the surrounding area," Wallin said.

Officers questioned the witnesses, including the victims, and set up a perimeter around the area in hopes of locating the suspect. They were unsuccessful.

APD asks that anyone with information about the shooting call 822-2424.

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