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Oroville man arrested for Sierra County shootings that left 1 dead, 2 in hospital

Sierra County Sheriff said 40-year-old John Thomas Conway was arrested after he attempted to run over wildlife officers at a checkpoint with his UTV.

SIERRA COUNTY, Calif. — Sierra County Sheriff's Office released new details on Tuesday about how law enforcement officers across multiple agencies arrested a suspect who officials believe shot at random three people, killing one and leaving the others injured.

John Thomas Conway, 40, was arrested after he allegedly tried to run over officers at a checkpoint with his utility terrain vehicle, officials said. 

Conway sped toward a checkpoint near Saddleback Road that was maintained by two California Department of Fish and Wildlife [CDFW] and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services [USFS] officers, officials said. Officials said Conway attempted to drive away south on Saddleback Road towards Downieville.

Officials said a third officer moved his vehicle to block Conway's escape route by driving up the hill. Conway then crashed his UTV in the officer's vehicle, officials said.

Officials said officers opened fire and let loose a K-9 officer on Conway because he was a threat. Officials do not say if Conway was shot or was injured by the dog. Officials said Conway was transported to the hospital.

Sheriff officials said deputies responded to a report of two people who were shot in the Poker Flat area at about 4 p.m. 

Officials said the Conway was driving a UTV. The two victims did not know Conway and the shooting seem random, officials said.

After the two victims were taken to the hospital, a 15-year-old boy called 911 after he escaped into the forest to report his father, Dr. Ari Gershman, a physician from Danville, was shot.

The child told law enforcement officers that his father and he were shot at while they were driving down a dirt road. 

Deputies were able to find Gershman's vehicle, but couldn't find the child. California Department of Fish and Wildlife officers were able to find the child after searching with a K-9 officer on July 4.

Officials said the two initial victims deputies responded to were driven to the Cal-Ida area, an hour away from Grass Valley. They were then airlifted to the local hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries, officials said.  

Sierra County Sheriff is asking anyone who has information regarding this case to call (530)289-3700.



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