Andrew Goff / @ 3:18 p.m. / Crime

Shelter Cove Resident Uses Shotgun Loaded with ‘Less Lethal’ Ammo to Detain Burglary Suspect; Two Arrested


Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:

On Friday November 3rd , 2017 at approximately 8:00 am a home owner called the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office to report her Shelter Cove home was being currently being burglarized. The absentee home owner stated she was viewing the incident live on her security camera system from another location. The home owner also called friends in Shelter Cove and advised them of the burglary. Prior to deputies arrival the home owners friends checked the area and noticed at least one subject run from the back of the Redwood Road residence into a wooded area. The Shelter Cove citizens began checking the area and located a subject nearby who matched the description of the subject running from the residence.

Two citizens detained the subject, later identified as 39 year old Eric Travis Black. One citizen was in possession of a 12 gauge shotgun that was loaded with “less lethal” ammunition, which fires rubber rounds that are intended to stun, but not penetrate a person’s body. Black soon became uncooperative with the citizens and attempted to take the shotgun away from the citizen. A short struggle over the shotgun ensued and the citizen was able to maintain possession. Black continued to resist the citizen’s and ignore their commands. Black began reaching into his pockets and the citizen’s feared he was going to produce a weapon. The citizen then intentionally shot Black in the calf with a less lethal rubber round. Black then complied and the citizens were able to restrain him until law enforcement arrived. Black was found to be in possession of stolen property.

Another group of citizen’s located a second possible suspect in the area later identified as Shaun Michael Stell. Stell was detained by citizens without incident until law enforcement arrived. Eric Black was arrested for possession of stolen property and outstanding warrants. Shaun Stell was arrested for outstanding warrants. Both were transported and booked into the Humboldt County Jail in Eureka. Black was medically cleared before being booked and was not seriously injured by the rubber round. The citizen who shot Black is not being charged with a crime at this time. The incident is still under investigation. Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445- 7251 or the Crime Tip Line at 707-268- 2539.


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