OREGON HOUSE — The two Yuba County sheriff’s deputies injured in a shootout Tuesday have been identified.
Officials say the deputies were responding along Marysville Road to reports of an “agitated and possibly armed subject” shortly after 8:30 a.m. Officials said later Tuesday that the disturbance began with an argument over some destroyed marijuana plants.
Investigators say the man ran off when deputies arrived, and the two were shot during an exchange of gunfire a short time later. One was hit in the pelvic area and thigh, and the other was hit in the arm.
Both deputies – 14-year veteran Phillip Bronson and and 10-year veteran Andrew Everhart – were airlifted to the hospital. They have both undergone surgery and are recovering.
The Yuba County Sheriff’s Department says both are listed in fair condition.
A third deputy, credited with pulling Bronson and Everhart to safety, was identified as Daniel Harris. Harris has been with the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office for 22 years.
The suspect, later identified as Mark Anthony Sanchez, had barricaded himself inside a home, according to the sheriff’s department. He was found dead in the home later Tuesday afternoon from gunshot wounds. Investigators said it was unclear if the man’s wounds were from the exchange of gunfire with the deputies or if the wounds were self-inflicted.
The leader of a Rastafarian church on the property says a newly arrived worker in the church’s marijuana field shot and wounded the two deputies, according to the Associated Press.
Heidi Lepp says church members called her Tuesday morning to report that the worker was erratic, armed with a gun and pulling up marijuana plants in Oregon House, about 55 miles north of Sacramento. She told the workers to flee and then called the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department.
The property is owned by a branch of Lepp’s church. She says 250 plants grew there last year.
Lepp said the suspect showed up at the farm about a month ago.