South County : Charges Filed Against Man in Ranch Shooting

Matthew G. Kaufman, the 25-year-old man wounded in a shoot-out with Orange County sheriff’s deputies Monday, was charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm, auto theft, receiving stolen property and resisting arrest, authorities said Friday.

The district attorney’s office filed the charges against Kaufman in the attempted murder of Sheriff’s Deputies Steve Ripple, Wayne Peters and John Heppert Jr.

Kaufman, whose last known address was in Portland, Ore., was originally approached by a deputy in Mission Viejo for driving a car reported stolen from San Francisco last month, police said. After the suspect led deputies on a 5-mile chase from Mission Viejo to a residential cul-de-sac in the Nellie Gail Ranch area of Laguna Hills, a gun battle took place.

A bullet grazed Ripple’s forehead when Kaufman shot at the officers who had pursued him, authorities said. The other officers were not injured.


Kaufman, a fugitive wanted in Nevada for parole violation, was wounded in the chest, and a second bullet grazed his forehead when deputies cornered him on the front steps of a home he was trying to enter.

He was taken to Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center where he was listed in satisfactory condition Friday morning. When discharged, he will be in custody at Orange County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail. Ripple was discharged from the hospital earlier this week.