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7/5/17 8:30 am update:
A multi-agency law enforcement team continues to look for the suspect in yesterday’s shooting incident in Forest Lakes, AZ. Ground and air teams searched the area during the night and early morning in an effort to locate the suspect. Search efforts will continue today in both the forested area as well as through patrols of neighborhoods, businesses, and roadways. There are approximately 45 officers from multiple agencies on scene assisting.
The shooting incident yesterday occurred near Canyon Point Campground which is located on Hwy 260 milepost 287 (approximately 19 miles west of Heber, AZ or 4.5 miles east of the Rim Visitor Center). The campground remains closed at this time.
The public is reminded to continue to be aware of the situation and to stay out of the area if possible. Please do not pick up hitch hikers and immediately report any suspicious person or activity to law enforcement. Anyone with information about the incident or the suspect is urged to call law enforcement.
Media Contact: Jon Paxton, Coconino County Sheriff's Office, 928-226-5089
7/4/17 9:30 pm update:
The multi-agency search efforts for the suspect who fired shots at a forest service employee earlier today will continue through the night.
We continue to ask the public to maintain caution and awareness in the area. If you do not need to be in the area, you are asked to stay out of the area. Anyone with information about the incident or the suspect is urged to contact law enforcement - 911 or Silent Witness (Coconino County Silent Witness phone: 928-774-6111).
A media update is planned for 8:00 am Wednesday morning (July 5) from information officers at Canyon Point Campground and via media distribution lists.
7/4/17 7:00 pm Original Media Release: Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is searching for the suspect in a shooting in the Forest Lakes area. Canyon Point Campground has been evacuated and Code Red has been used for notification of citizens in the Forest Lakes area. There currently is a two-mile radius closure of the area including a 2000-foot air space closure. See the attached photo of the suspect.
On July 3 at approximately 6:00 pm, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and US Forest Service responded to eight small brush fires in an area known as Pond Circle in Forest Lakes, AZ. Residents reported seeing a dark complexion male wearing a royal blue shirt, with a long sleeve white shirt underneath in the area. Personnel in the area attempted to locate the possible suspect.
On July 4 at approximately 10:20 am, a forest service employee was checking the area approximately ¼ mile south of Canyon Point Campground when he came across an individual matching the description from the fires. The suspect pulled a handgun on the forest service employee. As the employee was trying to back away, the suspect fired several rounds at him. As the employee ran to his truck, the suspect fired additional rounds at him using a shotgun. The forest service employee was not injured and was able to escape the area and call law enforcement.
Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is actively looking for the suspect. Other agencies assisting include Arizona Department of Public Safety SWAT and Air Ranger, FBI SWAT, Gila County Sheriff’s Office, Forest Service fire and law enforcement personnel, Forest Lakes Fire Department, Arizona Game and Fish, White Mountain Apache Police Department, and Navajo County Sheriff’s Office.
Anyone with information about this crime or suspect is encouraged to call 911 or Silent Witness at (928) 774-6111. The suspect is considered armed and dangerous. Please do not approach the subject but notify your local law enforcement agency.