Monday, 15 July 2024

Kelseyville man arrested after allegedly shooting trespasser

KELSEYVILLE – Sheriff's deputies arrested a Kelseyville man Saturday afternoon he allegedly confronted and shot a trespasser who later couldn't be located.


Nickolas Leone, 47, was arrested on a felony charge of discharging a firearm in a negligent manner, according to Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.


On Saturday shortly before 1 p.m. deputies responded to a residence on Highway 175 in Kelseyville to investigate a reported shooting. Bauman said a neighboring property owner called 911 and reported that Leone had shot an alleged trespasser.


When deputies arrived at the scene, Leone told them that 32-year-old John Allen Kniss, also of Kelseyville, had been harassing and threatening him over a woman Kniss had reportedly dated for several years, Bauman said. Kniss apparently believed Leone was now having a relationship with the woman.


Leone told deputies that at about noon on Saturday Kniss came driving up his driveway at a high rate of speed and after stopping just short of the gate to Leone’s property, began trying to force his way through the gate, according to Bauman's reported.


Leone retrieved a shotgun and exited his home, telling Kniss to leave. Bauman said Kniss reportedly ignored Leone’s demands and Leone allegedly fired a warning shot in the air.


Kniss continued to force his way through the gate and when he stepped onto the property, Leone shot him in the arm and shoulder from a distance of about 80 to 100 feet. Bauman said Kniss was apparently able to return to his pickup truck and leave.


Deputies were able to locate some blood and other evidence of the shooting at the scene, but after a search for Kniss, including checks with both area hospitals, deputies couldn't find him, Bauman said.


Bauman said Kniss had reportedly told other witnesses to the incident not to call the police before leaving the scene. Kniss was reportedly driving an older blue pickup truck and his condition is unknown.


Without any clear evidence at the scene that Leone’s actions were justifiable, he was arrested, Bauman said.


Bauman said Leone was booked at the Lake County Jail and posted a $10,000 bail later that same evening.


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