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Authorities: Woman with gun held after Plainsburg incident

A 52-year-old Plainsburg woman who was the subject of a three-hour response Thursday by the Merced County Sheriff’s Department has been arrested on suspicion of negligently firing a gun.

Deputy Delray Shelton said Friday that the woman has a history of suicide attempts and depression.

Shelton said that she became upset about 4p.m. when she learned she would not be able to spend time with her children over the holidays.

The Sheriff’s Department said in a press release that the woman fired two rounds from a .22-caliber gun, took a box of ammunition and left her home. No injuries were reported.

Authorities say the woman had consumed alcohol and antidepressant medication. Sheriff’s deputies located her in a cornfield near the Frightmare Farms Halloween attraction and surrounded the area.

Students in area

The department secured about 50 children in an after-school program at Plainsburg Elementary School in classrooms as a security precaution and evacuated Frightmare Farms.

Initial reports by the department indicated that most of those secured in safe locations were from the Halloween attraction, but authorities later clarified that many of them were from the elementary school.

The Sheriff’s Department used a helicopter to locate the woman and relay information to SWAT team members on the ground.

A mobile robotic camera was used to search the field and pinpoint the woman’s location before sending in deputies.

The woman was found asleep and taken into custody without further incident.

Shelton said the helicopter and robot were “critical” in ensuring the safety of the woman, the deputies and nearby residents.

There were 46 Sheriff’s Department personnel involved in the incident, Shelton said.

Shelton said the SWAT team is deployed only if an incident involves a certain number of specific threats.

The woman was treated at an area hospital for a potential drug overdose and taken to the Merced County main jail.

She was booked in lieu of $10,000 bail on suspicion of negligently discharging a firearm.

She remained in custody Friday evening.

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