UPDATE 1:33 p.m.: Humboldt Co. Sheriff’s Office Press Release:
The victim in the homicide has been identified as Neil Eugene Decker age 49 from Alderpoint. The suspect has been identified as Matthew Aaron Brown age 30. Brown is described as a white, male adult, 5’-11” in height, weight 200 pounds, with a shaved head and blue eyes.
The homicide occurred in the 2000 block of Rancho Sequoia near Alderpoint. The victim and suspect were acquainted with each other. They got into a verbal argument over personal property on Friday night before the shooting. Shortly after the argument the suspect shot the victim in the chest with a shotgun. The suspect then fled the area on a green motorcycle.
The Sheriff’s Office has issued an alert to other local law enforcement agencies to arrest Brown for homicide. The Sheriff’s Office considers Brown to be armed and dangerous. The Sheriff’s Office is advising the public is they see Matthew Brown to call 9-1-1 and do not approach him.
This homicide is the third homicide in the Rancho Sequoia area of Alderpoint in the last 24 months.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Tip line at 707-268-2539.
UPDATE 1:40 p.m.: Lt. Wayne Hanson of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department has confirmed that Matthew Aaron Brown age 30 is a suspect in Friday’s homicide. The shooting which took place in the Rancho Sequoia area of Southern Humboldt is the third in two years for the small area.
According to Hanson, Matthew Aaron Brown is a white male born in 1984 (approximately 30 years old.) He is 5’ 11” and weighs approximately 200 pounds. He has blue eyes and blond hair (currently very short—see photo right.) He has tattoos on his neck, arm and leg. As well as a swastika on his chest.
The suspect is considered armed and dangerous. “Don’t approach if you see him,” Hanson warned. “Dial 911… There will be extra deputies assigned to Southern Humboldt today.”
According to Hanson, the victim and the suspect in Friday’s homicide argued over property. The suspect allegedly shot the victim in front of witnesses around 10:50 p.m.
Two Humboldt County Sheriff’s officers were dispatched which, according to Hanson, was half the force currently on duty (see more about this below.) The Mendocino Sheriff assisted in the response sending two cars—one with a sergeant and one with two deputies. The officers were close because of the Northern Lights Festival in the Piercy area. The California Highway Patrol also responded. Department of Justice evidence people were out early Saturday morning collecting evidence. The Coroner’s Office took possession of the body.
Hanson said a double unit was sent from Eureka Code 3. “We only had four deputies on for the whole county.” Hanson went on to explain that fully staffed, they would have 93 positions this includes sheriff and lieutenants, under-sheriffs, bailiffs, and detectives, etc. He explained, “We have 13 frozen positions and 6 people out due to injuries so we are down 20% of our force.”
Hanson said that in the past they would cover the situation with overtime but, he said, “Our overtime budget was cut. It is a bad state of affairs. We are not happy about our staffing levels. It puts our officers, their morale, [and] citizen’s safety at risk.”
A press release with more information should be out later today.
Note: an early addition included the 100 correctional officers.