WEED, Calif. - Northern California officers shot and killed a man who pulled a gun as they tried to keep him out of a complex of marijuana farms in an area under evacuation orders as a raging wildfire threatened communities, a sheriff said.
Siskiyou County Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue told The Sacramento Bee the man was trying to drive into the Mount Shasta Vista subdivision on Monday and pointed a handgun at the group of officers that included a sheriff’s deputy and local police.
"Based upon preliminary information, it appears that there might have been a couple of rounds fired from the suspect’s firearm," LaRue said.
The officers killed the man, who was not immediately identified.
The subdivision has been converted into a huge network of marijuana farms mostly run by Hmong families. The county has banned large-scale marijuana cultivation but thousands of pot greenhouses have sprung up. Law enforcement efforts to shut them down have been countered with claims of racial discrimination.
The violence erupted as the Lava Fire grew rapidly and the Sheriff’s Office issued evacuation orders for Lake Shastina, Juniper Valley and Mount Shasta Vista. It covered nearly 21 square miles by early Tuesday.