Tuesday, 18 June 2024

REGIONAL: Officials investigate fatal Covelo shooting

COVELO – Officials are investigating a shooting that took a Covelo man's life early Saturday morning.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office reported that Jason Ray McLean, 23, died after being shot several times in a gunfight with 22-year-old Andrew Timothy Card, also of Covelo.

According to the report, McLean appears to have instigated the gunfight.

Deputies were dispatched to the intersection of Short Creek Road and Murphy Ridge Road, a rural secluded area of the valley floor, just before 5 a.m. Saturday on the report of a shooting, according to the sheriff's office report.

Arriving at the scene they found McLean with multiple gunshot wounds. He was receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Deputies also learned that a private citizen had transported Card, who also had suffered a gunshot wound, to the Covelo Fire Department.

Before deputies could attempt to interview the men about the incident McLean died of his injuries and Card was flown by air ambulance to a Sacramento-area hospital for treatment. The agency reported that detectives responded to the hospital and later interviewed Card.

Sheriff's office deputies responded to the shooting scene to investigate. They found that earlier that morning there had been a party at the intersection of Short Creek Road and Murphy Ridge Road, with the party goers drinking alcohol at the scene.

McLean and Card, who had past problems, also were at the party, according to the report.

The sheriff's office reported that Card had been arrested on Sept. 2, 2007, after having stabbed McLean while the pair were at the Covelo Rodeo Grounds early that morning. Card was subsequently prosecuted by the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office and a sentence was imposed by the Mendocino County Superior Court.

At the time of the Saturday gathering, the men reportedly were friendly toward one another, according to the investigation.

However, while McLean was leaving the gathering he stopped the vehicle he was driving for an unknown reason while Card was standing nearby. Investigators reported that McLean got out of his vehicle with a high-powered rifle and gained Card's attention with a few spoken words.

According to the investigation, McLean fired the rifle at Card without warning. The bullet entered and exited Card's abdomen and arm.

Card produced a handgun and began to shoot at McLean while the pair were standing approximately five feet apart, based on the investigation's findings. The pair reportedly engaged in a gun battle wherein each shot several times at each other.

As a result of the gun battle, a preliminary examination of McLean's body showed he sustained approximately four gunshot wounds to include wounds to his torso, an arm and a leg.

Card appears to have only suffered one gunshot wound – the shot initially fired by McLean, officials reported.

Mendocino County Sheriff's officials report that Card is expected to survive his injuries after having undergone surgery.

The report said detectives recovered the rifle at the shooting scene and the handgun is currently outstanding.

Detectives are still conducting investigations into this case and persons with information are urged to contact the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line by calling 707-467-9159.

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