Three deputies shot
Three deputies shot
The gunman is identified as a 35-year-old man; slain man was his father
By Dorothy Korber, Kim Minugh, Crystal Carreon and Bobby Caina Calvan - Bee Staff Writers
Bullets flew on a rustic lane in Shingle Springs on Tuesday in a wild gunfight that left a father and son dead, three El Dorado County sheriff's deputies wounded and a police dog shot twice.
Neighbors bolted their doors and hit the floor as dozens of shots whistled through the normally quiet neighborhood of Tammy Lane, a gravel cul-de-sac off South Shingle Road.
"It was like the OK Corral," said Patricia Herrera, who fled from her artichoke patch to barricade herself inside.
Late Tuesday, the three wounded deputies were recovering in a Roseville trauma center and the injured K-9 -- 6-year-old Donder, a Belgian Tervuren -- also was expected to survive.
Authorities identified the wounded deputies as 18-year veteran Jon Yaws, 16-year veteran Greg Murphy and five-year veteran Melissa Meekma.
Yaws worked with Donder, who has been on the force two years.
Sheriff Jeff Neves will be at Sutter Roseville Hospital at 11 a.m.
Wednesday to discuss the condition of the deputies and dog.
Lt. Kevin House, sheriff's spokesman, hailed the officers for putting their lives on the line for the community.
"We're just calling it heroic," House said. "Fortunately, they didn't have to pay the ultimate price, but they nearly did."
Authorities were still trying to piece together events that started about 11 a.m. with a body in a driveway and ended an hour later with the suspected gunman dead in a nearby grove, lying beside a cache of ammunition.
The man in the driveway was later identified as Arthur Mies, 72. His son, Edward Mies, 35, was the suspected gunman.
He lived in a small house on his father's property.
Investigators still were trying to determine Tuesday night whether the suspect was killed by deputies or by his own hand, although House said at least one officer thought he had shot the suspect.
Asked the likelihood that any deputy had been inadvertently struck by "friendly fire," Undersheriff Fred Kollar said that was being investigated but appeared "less and less of a possibility."
The first 911 calls came at 11:07 a.m. with reports of shots fired near Tammy Lane.
Within minutes, the first deputies arrived on the scene, found the father's body and called for backup.
A K-9 unit was dispatched, and a California Highway Patrol helicopter was en route.
At 11:23, CHP officers in the chopper spotted the suspect in a grove of pines behind the Mies house. Three deputies and the dog began closing in on him, moving through dense brush.
Twenty minutes later, they were met with a volley of gunfire. Yaws, the canine handler, was hit at least three times, the other deputies each were hit once, and the dog twice.
The Mountain Democrat, a Placerville newspaper, reported online that deputies were heard shouting on the police radio: "Stop shooting. Stop shooting. We're hit, and the dog is hit."
Dispatchers hearing the news began to sob, House said Tuesday night.
With the shooter still at large, reinforcements from agencies all over the region poured onto the scene. Officers, guns drawn and on high alert, ordered alarmed residents of the rural neighborhood to stay inside their homes.
Travis Gill, 18, who lives across the street from the Mies house, said he was watching "South Park" on television when he heard gunfire and hit the floor.
Mike Roberts, whose property abuts the Mies land, said a motorcycle officer ordered him and his wife to retreat indoors. Upon hearing shouts of "Get down! Get down!" he shuttered all their windows and locked the doors.
The tension lasted half an hour, until a report from the CHP helicopter that the suspect's motionless body was lying in a wooded area nearby.
In an attempt to rouse the man, SWAT deputies lobbed flash-bang grenades near him and released another police dog. With no response, officers moved in and determined that the suspect was dead.
They found something else, as well.
"There was a cache of ammunition right there at that location," House said. "It looked like he was trying to reload."
Tammy Lane was expected to be cordoned off overnight as technicians, trying to account for each bullet fired, combed the scene for shell casings. Investigators also will examine Mies family belongings, looking for clues to explain what led up to the violence.
Neves cut short a vacation in Hawaii to fly home Tuesday.
House, who previously supervised all three deputies, said the day's events devastated his brotherhood of 175 sworn officers. Also deeply affected was the Shingle Springs community.
"This is nothing that occurs very often," House said. "It's very shattering to a close-knit community."
At the Sutter Roseville Medical Center, where the three deputies were hospitalized after surgery Tuesday, arriving family and friends appeared hurried but composed.
They declined to be interviewed, though one man said, "Everybody's going to be just fine."
He and others carried food and bottled water; one young girl had a board game.
Jim Milne, a Placer County deputy senior chaplain assisting families at the hospital, said they were flooded with relief upon receiving word that the deputies would survive.
"When you're fearing the worst, but you find out that they're alive, it's a great day," Milne said.
Shooter was in 'homicidal rage,' sheriff says
By Ryan Lillis, Crystal Carreon and Dorothy Korber - Bee Staff Writers
Last Updated 2:55 pm PDT Wednesday, June 6, 2007
El Dorado County Sheriff's Officer K-9 Donder was shot in the line of duty Tuesday in Shingle Springs on Tammy Lane. He recieved a gunshot wound to the chest, as well as lacerations to his left flank and the nose. El Dorado County Sheriff's Dept.
The man who shot three deputies and a police dog in Shingle Springs on Tuesday was in a "homicidal rage" as he fired "with pinpoint accuracy" from a system of foxholes and tunnels in a hillside above a quiet Shingle Springs cul-de-sac, El Dorado County Sheriff Jeff Neves said Wednesday morning.
Officers responding to a call of gunfire at about 11:07 a.m. Tuesday found Arthur Mies, 72, dead in the driveway near South Shingle Road and Tammy Lane. Neves said investigators believe Mies' son, Edward, 35, "baited officers in an ambush situation."
Edward Mies lived in a small trailer on the property.
More than 100 gunshots were exchanged Tuesday morning and the deputies -- Jon Yaws, Greg Murphy and Melissa Meekma -- and the dog, Donder, were injured. Soon after, a California Highway Patrol helicopter arrived on the scene hovering low and flushed Mies out into an open area, where he was shot by an officer, Neves said.
Yaws and Murphy underwent scheduled surgery Wednesday morning; Meekma was scheduled to go into surgery early Wednesday afternoon.
All three officers are stable and "emotionally doing very well," Neves said. "Their spirits are very high. They're kind of humbled by the attention they are receiving."
Edward Mies had stockpiled ammunition, changes of clothing with ammunition in the pockets, a toolbox full of shotgun rounds and had carved out a series of foxholes, tunnels and paths in the thick brush near his home.
Officers entered Edward Mies' residence and found 15 pounds of marijuana and additional weapons.
On Wednesday, the Mies family home, a ranchhouse with windchimes on the porch, stood empty.
A longtime family friend, Ken Madsen, said he is serving as a family spokesman during this time.
"They're good people," said Madsen, who has known the Mies family for more than 20 years. "It's a challenge to raise kids, and it hurts when, for whatever reason, they're not able to grow up the way you wanted them to grow up."
He said Eddie, a middle son, had moved back in with his mother and father about two years ago and had taken up shelter in a small trailer in the backyard. He had quit working at a roofing job, and mostly kept to himself, to the concern of his family.
"They knew he wasn't happy, and they were trying everything they could to help him," Madsen said. "They had no idea he was a danger to himself or anyone else."
Madsen said last visited with Eddie just three weeks ago. He knew the son was not happy, and "was not functioning normally."
"The whole (incident) was a problem of untreated mental illness," he said. "I just feel the same sadness they do, that we couldn't help Eddie."
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