McArthur man arrested after Burney shooting sends one to hospital

BURNEY — A McArthur man who officials say began randomly firing a rifle into an upstairs Burney apartment sent one man to the hospital with gunshot injuries and sent other residents of the apartments diving for cover early Saturday morning, Dec. 22. The alleged shooter was later arrested after deputies investigating the incident received a tip that a man with a rifle was sitting inside a car parked near Burney Theater.


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Deputies assigned to the Burney Mountain Sub-Station were first alerted to the shooting about 12:30 a.m., after a man with at least one gunshot injury showed up at Burney Fire Protection District on the 3800 block of Lassen St., between Butte and Plumas streets.

Deputies reportedly arrived within minutes of the dispatched call and confirmed a man had been shot. Based on the severity of the victim’s injuries, officials requested an air ambulance to the scene and the man was eventually life-flighted to a Redding area hospital, where he immediately underwent surgery for his injuries.

As their investigation was getting underway, deputies interviewed numerous witnesses and learned “an unknown subject had begun randomly firing into a second story apartment through multiple windows,” Shasta County Sheriff’s officials later explained.

“The tenant of the apartment exited his residence where he was shot at least once by the unknown subject,” explained SCSO. “There were several other subjects in the apartment who had taken cover and were not injured during the shooting.”

While deputies were still interviewing victims and witnesses and collecting evidence, a pedestrian informed them they had just seen a rifle-wielding man in a blue car parked near Burney Theater.

As deputies were responding to the area they spotted a vehicle that matched the description provided by the witness leaving the area. Deputies conducted a high-risk, felony stop and detained Leslie Paul Patterson, 39, of McArthur.

During a subsequent search of Patterson’s vehicle deputies located a loaded rifle, which matched the caliber used in the shooting, said SCSO.

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Patterson reportedly admitted to the shooting, but would not provide a reason for the violent incident. Deputies later learned Patterson did not even know any of the occupants from the apartment he opened fire on.

“At this time it appears the shooting was a random act,” explained SCSO.

The sheriff’s investigation is ongoing and officials have asked that anyone with information related to the shooting and the investigation to contact SHASCOM at (951) 245-6540. Callers can remain anonymous.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.

Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.


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