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Man Arrested after Reportedly Shooting at Law Enforcement Helicopter in Placer County

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PLACER COUNTY -- The Placer County Sheriff's Department sent dozens of deputies, tactical team members and more speeding down Foresthill Road to the Michigan Bluff area following reports of an active shooter with a shotgun.

The sheriff's department said it all started about 2:30 p.m. when a man who lives on Michigan Bluff Road got angry at a group of tree trimmers who were doing some work in the area and aimed a gun at them.

“The CHP helicopter was requested. During their orbits over the residence to try to gain some intelligence as to what was going on, the individual did fire at that helicopter," said Lt. Troy Sander with the Placer County Sheriff's Department.

Sander said the CHP helicopter left the area to fuel up. A Placer County sheriff's helicopter arrived above the scene, and the suspect, later identified as 34-year-old Rance Shepherd, fired at the aircraft four times.

"There were some other shots that were fired and it’s undetermined as to where they were directed," Sander said. "So right now we’re just trying to put some safety resources in place, special enforcement team, hostage negotiation, explosive ordnance detail. And just trying to put a safe perimeter around the location.”

Mitch Wilson and Sarah Shepherd identified themselves as the Shepherd's uncle and ex-wife, respectively.

“He has a history lately of some very odd behavior,” Wilson said.

“He has been escalating worse and worse with his behavior and it’s just been very odd, but we never would’ve imagined anything like this,” Shepherd said.

Shepherd was ultimately taken into custody late Wednesday evening.