Arrest made in shooting of father and son | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Arrest made in shooting of father and son

A man protecting a marijuana garden shot and seriously injured a father and son hunting in El Dorado County Sunday, investigators said.

An anonymous tip led to the arrest of two men in connection with the shooting. El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputies booked Luis Lopez Arriaga, a Mexican citizen, for attempted murder. His son, Mario Arriaga Lopez, 40, was arrested in Yolo County, for being an accessory to the crime.

Sgt. Marc Adams reported that Arriaga was guarding a marijuana garden on property owned by 43-year-old William Harold Hunt when the shooting occurred. Hunt, a resident of Herald, Calif., reportedly did not know the garden existed.



Hunt was shot with a shotgun in the stomach around 10 a.m. while out in the Blodget Forest area with his sons, ages 8 and 4. His 8-year-old, Matthew, was shot in the head with a shotgun pellet and was in a coma Wednesday. Both are listed in critical condition. The 4-year-old boy was not injured.

“(Arriaga) had been hired by someone to tend that marijuana garden and had spent the whole summer living in it, manicuring it, tending to it and protecting it,” Adams said. “When the hunters came by, he was concerned about them ripping off the garden.”




Hunt’s brother, Donald, also hunting with the family, found his injured brother and nephew in a vehicle after its horn was honked repeatedly. Sgt. Hal Lamb said Arriaga and Lopez were at the scene and helped Donald Hunt unhook a trailer attached to the vehicle so he could drive quickly to an area where he could use a cell phone to call paramedics.

Investigators interviewed Lopez Tuesday, but didn’t consider him a suspect until they received the anonymous tip that led them to his father who was in Sunnyvale, Calif., reportedly preparing to leave for Mexico.

Investigators said the shooting occurred about 100 yards from the garden where they found 1,250 harvested marijuana plants that have a street value of more than a million dollars. Near the plants they reportedly found a shotgun. Investigators also said they located a rifle and BB gun the Hunts were carrying Sunday.

Adams said Wednesday that William Hunt’s condition has improved and that he hoped to interview him about the incident at Sutter-Roseville Hospital.

Undersheriff Jeff Neves said two other marijuana gardens have been discovered recently in the Blodget Forest area. One garden contained 1,700 plants, the other 1000.

Arriaga and Lopez are being held without bail.


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