Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Refused Entry to Lava Fire Evacuation Zone, Man Fires Gun at Siskiyou County Law Enforcement and Then Killed


The following is a press release issued by the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office:

The Lava Fire on the flanks of Mt. Shasta [Picture from the Lake Shastina Fire Department]

Officer-Involved Shooting Incident

Information about the shooting will be limited due to the ongoing investigation.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office and allied law enforcement agencies are investigating an Officer-Involved Shooting incident that occurred at the intersection of Shasta Vista Drive and County Road A-12 in an unincorporated area of Siskiyou County, in the Big Springs area.

On June 28, 2021, at about 8:36 PM, law enforcement officers were assisting in evacuating the Mount Shasta Vista Subdivision due to a fast-approaching wildfire being driven by strong winds. At the intersection of Shasta Vista Drive and County Road A-12, fire personnel were staged at that intersection assisting with firefighting efforts, and law enforcement officers were at the intersection assisting motorists in evacuation. Law enforcement officers closed the southbound lane of County Road A-12 to prevent traffic from entering a fire hazard area in the evacuation zone. Officers were directing traffic north on County Road A-12 towards Grenada, away from the evacuation zone.

As a GMC pickup approached County Road A-12 from Shasta Vista Drive, law enforcement officers instructed the driver of the GMC to turn north on County Road A-12 out of the evacuation zone. The driver of the GMC ignored numerous directions by officers and attempted to drive around the roadblock and head southbound on County Road A-12 toward the evacuation zone. While the law enforcement officer was communicating with the driver, the driver raised his hand and pointed a semi-auto handgun at the officers. Peace Officers from the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Etna Police Department shot the driver.

In addition to pointing the firearm at officers, initial information indicates the suspect may have fired several rounds from the gun at the officers during the incident.

All involved officers have been placed on paid administrative leave pending completion of an investigation. The local Critical Incident Team is handling the investigation, which is being led by the Siskiyou County District Attorney’s Office.

Fire personnel quickly administered medical aid to the driver of the vehicle; however, he did not recover, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

More information will be released in the future pending the completion of the investigation.


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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
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 if you know a story that needs to be told.

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