Investigation continues after West Slope deputies shot, suspect dead |

Investigation continues after West Slope deputies shot, suspect dead

Pat Lakey, Placerville Mountain Democrat

SHINGLE SPRINGS ” A press conference is being held today after five people, including three El Dorado Countys sheriff’s deputies, where shot. A suspect in the shooting is dead.

The man suspected of instigating the nightmare scenario that reportedly left his initial target dead was shot and killed shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday after a full-scale search including SWAT teams and an armored vehicle. It was unknown at press time whether deputies fired the shots that killed the man, or whether he shot himself.

Slain at the hands of the man later shot dead by officers is a man called “Art Mize” on a police scanner, although the exact spelling of his name was not available at press time yesterday nor was it certain the name was transmitted correctly.

The suspect had been armed with a light-model .38-caliber handgun with 4- to 6-inch barrel. Shortly before 11 a.m. yesterday he reportedly shot a man who was at 4491 South Shingle Road, which prompted the response by emergency personnel.

Traffic heard on a police scanner yesterday indicated “Mize” was the victim of the initial shooting, which reportedly proved fatal. The information regarding his death came from the pilot of a Cal-Star helicopter who had flown to Placerville Airport.

Sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement officials including the California Highway Patrol and units from the Folsom Police Department converged on the scene at about 10:45 a.m. and all began searching for the suspect. At 11:41 a.m., a barrage of gunshots was heard and the shots continued off and on till 11:50 a.m.

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Scanner traffic reported that the suspect earlier had been shooting at emergency helicopters, and news helicopters that responded to the story were warned not to fly too low over the area.

An area community center off South Shingle Road was used as the command center and perimeters quickly changed throughout the late morning and early afternoon. Officers could be heard shouting to one another as they made their way through the brush.

Before the shots were fired, sheriff’s deputies were seen carrying shotguns down Tammy Lane to a dead-end area.

One of the wounded deputies reportedly is officer Melissa Meekma. No word on the identity of the other officers was available, except that one was called “Johnny.” Deputy John Yaws is a K-9 handler with the Sheriff’s Department who has a police dog named Donder. All three deputies were taken to Sutter Roseville Hospital and were in stable condition at press time yesterday, according to information received by their families from hospital officials. The dog reportedly was in good condition yesterday at press time.

It was unclear who shot the officers, but the deputies could be heard over the police scanner screaming, “Stop shooting. Stop shooting. We’re hit and the K-9 is hit.”

The armed suspect ” a white male age 32 to 35, 5 foot 10 inches, thin build, with long strawberry blond hair, wearing a black shirt and black jeans – reportedly was shot and was “down,” at one point just before noon yesterday. But later scanner traffic had him moving westbound near Tammy Lane and Benton Way, about a mile south of Highway 50 off South Shingle Road.

At one point, it was reported by scanner traffic, that the suspect’s brother, name unknown, had been detained for questioning.

The deceased suspect apparently suffered from schizophrenia, according to information heard on the police scanner shortly after noon yesterday.