A Cedar Ridge man with apparent mental health issues terrified his neighbors — and forced a short standoff with law enforcement — after he began firing a gun inside his house at “bad guys and robots.”
One neighbor, who had been heading to the man’s house to check on him during the incident Tuesday night, retreated after noticing puffs of smoke coming from the bullets, which penetrated the door and sides of the house.
“We received three separate reports of shots fired,” said Nevada County Sheriff’s Lt. Alicia Milhous.
The first call, from a neighbor in the 11000 block of Cedar Ridge Drive at about 11:15 p.m., reported about six shots fired, possibly from a high-powered rifle, according to dispatch reports.
Andrew Bell, who lives directly across from the man’s cabin, said he initially thought the noise was falling pine cones.
“I realized that it wasn’t pine cones dropping on the aluminum sheds when I began hearing the gravel spatter against my house, as the bullets were hitting the ground in front of my front door,” Bell said. “That’s when I hit the floor in my living room and called 911.”
Sheriff’s deputies who responded noted multiple bullet holes in the door and front of the residence and took cover, Milhous said, adding that the man was not actively shooting at the time.
The deputies arrived with guns drawn and surrounded the house and ordered him to drop his weapon and come outside so they could talk to him, Bell said.
“He refused,” Bell said. “The standoff went on for upwards of a half-hour when finally he was coaxed into coming out with his hands up … The deputies did a great job of negotiating him out of the house.” According to Milhous, the man — who was not being identified — was talking, but they could not understand him.
“They could hear him loading a shotgun,” she added.
After the man eventually came out, he told deputies he was “shooting at bad guys and robots,” Milhous said.
He was transported to the emergency room for a mental health evaluation and currently is receiving mental health care.
“He will be charged with discharging a firearm in a negligent manner,” Milhous said. “There were several other houses on the property, and there was concern someone could (have gotten) hurt.”
Deputies allegedly recovered two shotguns, a revolver and several expended shells from the man’s cabin. Milhous said deputies counted seven bullet holes through the front of the house.
“It was a very tense hour to say the least,” Bell said.
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