A rifleman who authorities say wounded a sheriff’s deputy in rural Fresno County has been arrested, authorities said. The suspect was identified as 57-year-old Michael Congdon.
Deputy John Erickson, 49, was shot in his right leg Tuesday while responding to a report of gunfire related to a disagreement between Congdon and his neighbor over property lines. The pickup truck Erickson was driving was riddled with bullet holes, but a passenger, a private resident doing a ride-along, wasn't hurt.
Within an hour, four or five deputies had arrived at the scene and carried Erickson, who hid in the bushes for an hour before he was rescued, to a helicopter which flew him to a hospital to undergo surgery for internal injuries and a broken thigh bone.
Fresno said that Erickson, an 11-year veteran, is in good condition.
While searching the property, detectives found an injured horse that had been shot multiple times. Officials believe Congdon shot the animal before Erickson’s arrival. The horse was transported to a local veterinarian for medical treatment. It is alive, but its future prognosis is unclear. Authorities have not yet identified its owner.
The shooting occurred in the 29000 block of Quail Springs Lane in the community of Tollhouse just after 11 a.m. Deputies had gone to the residence several times in response to similar disagreements over a property line dispute. When Erickson arrived at the scene, Mims said, the suspect started shooting in his direction.
“This is attempted murder. And it’s all over a silly reason,” Mims said.
SWAT and armored vehicles remained on the scene while the situation unfolded as Congdon hid in a small shed on the property with several firearms. The Sheriff’s Department said he surrendered hours after several conversations by phone with members of the Crisis Negotiation Team.
Congdon faces two attempted murder charges and is being held in lieu of $1.9-million bail.