OREGON HOUSE (CBS SF) — Two Yuba County sheriff’s deputies were shot and wounded Tuesday after they responded to reports of an armed and agitated man pulling up marijuana plants on a farm that supplies pot to a Rastafarian church, authorities said.
The Yuba County deputies were in serious condition and undergoing surgery at Sutter Roseville Medical Center in nearby Marysville. The shooting occurred in remote Oregon House about 55 miles north of Sacramento.
Sugarleaf Rastafarian Church leader Heidi Lepp said she received a call from church members who live on the Oregon House marijuana farm reporting that a newly arrived worker had become erratic, was ripping up plants and holding a gun.
Lepp called the sheriff’s office and told the men on the farm to immediately vacate it, she said
Deputies and a man exchanged shots upon their arrival, Yuba County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Leslie Carbagh said.
Yuba County Sheriff’s declined to release the names of the two deputies.
Authorities later confirmed the suspect who shot the deputies was found dead inside a home after a barricade situation that lasted most of the day.
It was not known if the suspect died of his wounds suffered in the shootout or if he took his own life.
The shooter’s name is unknown, Carbagh said.
Lepp said she knows the suspect only as “Sawyer,” and he showed up at the farm about a month ago. The property is owned by a branch of Lepp’s church, she said.
Lepp said the property is between 20 and 40 acres and that the church considers marijuana a church sacrament.
The shooting occurred a day after two police officers were shot and wounded nearly 200 miles south in the central California city of Los Banos during a struggle with a man who broke into his estranged wife’s apartment. Police fatally shot that shooter.
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