Smartsville man will be booked on kidnapping, shooting charges, Nevada County Sheriff’s Office says
UPDATE at 9:35 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4
Eric Moffatt was booked late Tuesday into the Nevada County Jail on charges of kidnapping, assault with a firearm and being an ex-felon with a firearm, reports state.
Moffatt remained jailed that morning on $100,000 in bail.
A man pulled over by Grass Valley police officers early Tuesday reportedly had a good excuse for speeding and driving recklessly, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office said.
Eric Moffatt, 56, of Smartsville, shouted from the front seat of the vehicle that his passenger had been shot, and officers escorted him to the hospital. But as the questioning unfolded, investigators say, it turned out that Moffatt was the one who shot the victim. And further investigation revealed a second passenger in the vehicle, zip-tied under a pile of blankets.
The sequence of events, which began at a residence on North Bloomfield Road, remains under investigation, said Nevada County Sheriff’s Lt. Rob Bringolf. However, Moffatt will be booked on charges of kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon, he added.
Sheriff’s deputies were called to the 12000 block of North Bloomfield Road around 2:25 a.m. for a report of a shooting, Bringolf said.
While deputies and officers were responding, a Grass Valley police officer spotted a vehicle driving recklessly and at high speed. The officer tried to make a traffic enforcement stop and Moffatt ultimately pulled over on Sutton Way and Olympia Park Road.
“He said he had a gunshot victim in his car and he was going to the hospital,” said Grass Valley Police Lt. Joe Matteoni. “He sped off and officers followed him.”
At Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, the passenger was assessed for a gunshot injury to the hand, Bringolf said.
Grass Valley Police officers approached the vehicle at the emergency room and found another passenger zip-tied on the rear passenger floorboard under a pile of blankets, Bringolf said. The zip-tied passenger was not injured, and was assessed and released from the hospital.
The victim of the shooting was taken to UC Davis Medical Center due to the severity of injuries to the hand. The injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, Bringolf added.
Meanwhile, as deputies arrived at the scene on North Bloomfield Road, they saw a man fleeing on a dirt bike. A short pursuit ensued, but deputies discontinued the pursuit when conditions grew too dangerous, Bringolf said.
While the sequence of events still is being investigated, Bringolf said it all started with an argument at the residence. At some point, Moffatt is believed to have fired a shotgun twice, with one round striking the victim’s hand.
No one else is facing charges at this point, Bringolf said.
Anyone with information that could be relevant to this case is encouraged to call the Nevada County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit at 530-265-1263, he added.
To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4236.
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