Squaw Valley man hospitalized after firing at Fresno Sheriff’s deputies


A Squaw Valley man was hospitalized for an evaluation after claiming people were killing his animals and then firing on arriving deputies, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies took the 53-year-old into custody Monday morning after a stand off.

He was taken to the hospital and was undergoing an evaluation. Once released, he will be booked into the Fresno County Jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer and negligently discharging a firearm inside a home, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday, a man called the Sheriff’s Office to report strange activity taking place outside his house located on the 35000 block of George Smith Road in Squaw Valley.

The man claimed there were a dozen people tearing up his property and killing his animals, the Sheriff’s Office said. He told dispatchers he was armed with a gun and would defend himself.

As deputies responded, they learned the man’s adult son was also inside the house. The man continued to speak with dispatchers over the phone, but he was not making sense, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies arrived and focused on trying to safely get the man’s son out of the home. However, their efforts were delayed when they heard several gunshots being fired inside the home and couldn’t determine exactly where the suspect was located.

About 30 minutes later, dispatchers were able to call the suspect’s son. They encouraged him to get out of the house. He eventually walked out of the home and met deputies by their patrol vehicles. A short time later, the man fired out of the house toward deputies, the Sheriff’s Office said.  

Two deputies returned fire with the suspect. None of the deputies were struck. It was unknown at
the time if the suspect had been hit.

The Sheriff’s SWAT team was called to the scene, and around midnight SWAT members approached the house to try and find the suspect.

The approaching SWAT team heard more gunshots inside the house.

Just before 1 a.m., deputies found the suspect outside running across the property, the Sheriff’s Office said. They were able to capture him without incident.

He was not seriously injured.

Arrangements were made to transport him to a hospital in Fresno.

The Sheriff’s Office said it was unclear if the man was under the influence of any substance(s).

Detectives obtained a search warrant and are looking around the five-acre parcel of land for evidence. Records are also being checked for any possible prior contact with the Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation remains ongoing.

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