SIERRA COUNTY, Calif. (KRCR) -- An Oroville man on Butte County's "Most Wanted List" was arrested Saturday, accused in a fatal shooting spree in the Tahoe National Forest during the Fourth of July weekend.
The Sierra County Sheriff's Office said on Friday, July 3, at about 4 p.m., they received information that two persons were shot and wounded by an assailant in the Poker Flat area in an apparent random act of violence from a stranger.
As the victims were transported out of the area, a 15-year-old boy called 911 to report a shooting. The teen ran into the forest to hide, where he called 911.
The shooting victim was identified as Dr. Ari Gershman. Gershman and his 15-year-old son encountered the suspect while they were driving down a dirt road in the Tahoe National Forest. The suspect allegedly shot at Dr. Gershman and his son, killing Gershman.
The doctor's son spent the night alone in the forest hiding from the suspect. Officers found him in good condition Saturday afternoon.
KRCR-TV reports throughout the night of July 3 and into the following day, the Sierra County Sheriff's Office coordinated a massive law enforcement response to the area with multiple agencies responding.
KRCR-TV reports after the 15-year-old was located, deputies said the suspect approached two wildlife officers and a Forest Service officer at high speed in a utility-terrain vehicle. The suspect failed to stop at the checkpoint and tried to run over two officers. A third wildlife officer down the road blocked the vehicle, and a collision occurred. Officers fired shots, and a K-9 was deployed.
The suspect, 40-year-old John Thomas Conway of Oroville, was taken into custody and hospitalized. Charges were not immediately announced.
Conway had been listed on the Butte County Sheriff's Most Wanted List since August 2019. He was wanted on a felony warrant charging him with vandalism, battery, and two counts of making terrorist threats.
“They were going to ask him directions and he opened fire,” a Gershman family member told KTXL-TV.