Tuesday, December 5, 2023

An Unknown Shooter Attempted to Kill a Laytonville Cattle Rancher’s One-Month-Old Calf

Phil Gravier’s one-month old calf after being shot by an unknown suspect [Picture provided by Phil Gravier]

Phil Gravier, the owner of Laytonville’s Chevron gas station and local cattle rancher, has been raising cattle in the hills for over twenty years. On May 1, Gravier was troubled to find an unknown perpetrator had, at point-blank range, shot a one-month-old calf and left it for dead.

Two weeks after the random act of violence, Gravier’s calf is barely alive and he is not sure if the animal will survive. Reflecting on what happened, Gravier simply said, “I cannot believe someone would shoot something so defenseless.” 

Gravier said on May 1, the calf came in with a cow and he noticed it was injured but did not realize the extent of the injury nor the cause. It was only after a veterinarian examined the calf did Gravier come to understand someone had shot the animal.

Gravier said there was a clear “in-and-out bullet hole” describing the bullet as hitting the calf’s shoulder and scapula shattering bone as it pierced through. Gravier surmised the bullet trajectory suggested the shooter was trying to shoot the calf “head-on” but missed their target.

Gravier knows this occurrence was not an accident or a drive-by. His ranch is in an isolated property near Foster Creek area off of Bell Springs Road. He explained, “Someone would have had to trespass with a gun because there is no easy or obvious access to my property.” There are no public roads to where the calf was located so Gravier thinks someone had to have walked into where the calf was located.

Gravier’s calf clearly significantly injured as a result of the shooting

Treatment of the calf cost Gravier nearly $400 but he said his disappointment and sadness was not about the money, but knowing “someone did that. They walked around my place and gunned down a one-month-old defenseless calf.

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Gravier said the calf is “still hanging in there.” He said the calf “seemed to be doing better a couple of days ago, but today he’s not doing real well.” He added, “It’s going to take some time.”

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Captain Greg Van Patten confirmed a report had been filed in the shooting of the calf. As of this time, there are no known suspects, Captain Van Patten said. 

Phil Gravier asks that anyone in the Laytonville area who knows anything about the circumstances surrounding his calf getting shot to please message him on his Gravier’s Cattle Facebook page. Residents with information can also contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 463-4086.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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