The shooting left one man with minor injuries. No officers were injured.
According to Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal, the incident occurred just before 10:00 Thursday night in the Highway 169 area north of Weitchpec.
Two marked patrol cars carrying a total of three deputies in full uniform turned onto Martin Ferry Bridge when they encountered a suspicious black Chevy Corvette parked in the roadway.
The vehicle was illuminated by patrol car spotlights. As they drove closer, one of the deputies saw the lone occupant of the vehicle pointing a gun in their direction.
HCSO said the deputy exited the patrol vehicle and took a defensive position behind the passenger-side door.
According to the sheriff’s office the deputy said, “Sheriff’s office, show me your hands!”
With the driver still reportedly pointing the gun in his direction, the deputy fired his weapon.
A second deputy got out and began shooting at the driver.
The sheriff’s office said both deputies were in fear for their lives.
A total of 22 rounds were fired in the incident.
The driver, identified as Hoopa resident George Robbins, eventually exited his vehicle and was taken into custody without further incident. He sustained minor injuries in the shooting.
According to HCSO, Robbins told them he was working to guard construction equipment that was staged in the area.
He told deputies he saw a vehicle approach him and couldn’t identify the occupants due to the headlights.
Roberts said he reached into the back of his car to retrieve a .44 caliber Ruger revolver, which he then pointed at the approaching vehicles. He beleived it was “his cousin messing with him.”
The sheriff’s office said Roberts didn’t know he was pointing the revolver at deputies when the gunfire erupted.
He ducked down and waited for the shooting to subside before he gave himself up.
There were two spent shell casings found in the revolver, but Robbins claimed he never fired a shot.
HCSO said Robbins was booked into jail for brandishing a loaded firearm at a peace officer. He did not have a license to carry a loaded gun in public and did not have a concealed weapons permit in Humboldt County.
The construction company Robbins was employed by said he was not supposed to be armed.
More charges are expected to be filed against Robins.
The case remains under investigation and the deputies involved are on administrative leave until the investigation concludes.