NSJ man gives himself up after shots fired
A man characterized as despondent by law enforcement barricaded himself inside a house in North San Juan after firing shots, closing down part of the small town on the San Juan Ridge.
Michael Edmondson, 32, gave himself up at about 8:40 p.m. Wednesday, Nevada County Undersheriff Rich Kimball said, keeping authorities on edge for nearly six hours.
“No one was hurt,” Kimball said. “Everybody’s safe. It’s good. It could have gone in a different way.”
The Sheriff’s Office received a call from Edmondson’s family at about 3 p.m. reporting he was outside the house with a knife, Kimball said.
“Family members said he was despondent,” Kimball said. “He went inside the house and came back outside with a gun. He then fired a few rounds down the driveway.”
The man then retreated back inside the house, next to Milano’s Inn on the 27000 block of Cherokee Street at the corner of Reservoir Street. Sheriff’s deputies secured the area due to concerns over public safety.
No other people were inside the residence, Kimball said.
By early evening, officers with the county’s Special Enforcement Detail had delivered a land-line telephone to the house, allowing negotiators to talk to Edmondson.
Earlier in the afternoon, deputies went door to door to evacuate neighboring houses, Kimball said.
Deputies carrying rifles and shields were meeting inside the North San Juan Fire Protection District Community Hall late in the afternoon. Members of the county’s Special Enforcement Detail also were on the scene, town resident Paul August said.
Members of the North San Juan Volunteer Fire Department, with Station No. 1 next to the hall, were assisting, August said.
Calfire and Sierra Nevada Ambulance also responded.
A woman identified by neighbors as Edmondson’s girlfriend arrived and was talking to officers later in the afternoon, August added.
Rick Bauer, who lives on Reservoir Street just down the street from Edmondson’s residence, said at least 14 law enforcement vehicles were at the scene, along with an ambulance and a California Highway Patrol helicopter. A CHP airplane also flew overhead.
“They’re backed up halfway” to Highway 49, Bauer said mid-afternoon. “We can’t get out our front gate.”
Bauer called Edmondson a “good kid” who had been having family problems.
“He came running by,” Bauer said. “He was screaming and yelling swear words.”
Bauer heard the shots, but seemed unfazed by the gunfire.
Rumors flew all afternoon, including one story that the incident began at the Brass Rail on Highway 49.
But, a woman who identified herself as “Jack” at the Brass Rail said nothing had happened there.
Another rumor that Edmondson was holding his parents hostage was dispelled by Kimball. Edmondson’s mother was on the scene and was talking to deputies, he said.
Staff Photographer John Hart contributed to this report. To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4229.
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