Crime - Sacto 911

Poachers shoot at California wildife officer along north coast

A state fish and wildlife warden was shot at Sunday when he attempted to stop illegal “spotlight” hunting in Humboldt County. He was not hit.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife was shot at around 12:45 a.m. Sunday when he tried to stop occupants of a vehicle he caught in the act of using a spotlight to freeze an animal in its tracks prior to shooting.

The officer was near Redwood House Road and Highway 36, which is southeast of Fortuna and Eureka. The occupants of the vehicle fired upon him when he tried to stop them.

A pursuit began as the wildlife officer called in for backup. The poachers continued to fire as he gave chase.

Eventually, the pursued vehicle crashed into a tree and the suspects fled on foot into the night, according to fish and wildlife’s Capt. Patrick Foy.

“Due to the presence of multiple suspects, their intent on shooting him, and lack of immediate assistance, the warden waited for help before continuing the search,” according to an e-mail from Foy.

The poachers have not yet been found.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews