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California man sentenced to 20 years for attempt at shooting wildlife officer

 

California man shoots at wildlife officers
Photo credit: Dreamstime

Nearly a year after he opened fire on a wildlife officer, Shawn Eugene Hof, Jr., has finally been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Hof shot at a California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officer during an early morning chase on Aug. 21, 2016 in Humboldt County, California. Hof had been caught spotlighting on Redwood House Road near Highway 36, which results in Hof and his friend, Thomas Wheeler, to flee, opening fire on an officer from his truck during the pursuit, according to a CDFW press release.

Hof escaped and was on the run for nearly a year; however, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and the Humboldt District Attorney’s Office worked together with CDFW Law Enforcement and, eventually, linked Hof to the crime. Several donors came together to offer a reward of $20,000 for any information leading to his arrest. These included the California Wildlife Officers Foundation, California Fish and Game Warden Supervisors and Managers Association, California Waterfowl Association, Defenders of Wildlife, Humane Society of the United States, The Nature Conservancy, and Sportfishing Alliance.

On Aug. 10, 2017, Hof turned himself into state police.

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“We are pleased with the sentence handed down by Judge Feeney,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division, in a press release. “It took a dangerous felon out of the community making it safer for the citizens of Humboldt County. CDFW thanks our allied agency partners for their efforts since the moment the incident began and the coalition of donors who offered the reward money. We’re relieved the situation was resolved without injuries to our officers or the public.”

Hof was convicted of “assault with a firearm upon a peace officer with an enhancement of personally using a firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm, using threats and violence upon an executive officer, negligently discharging a firearm at an occupied vehicle, and one misdemeanor violation of “spotlighting” (using artificial light to poach wildlife),” CDFW reports.

Wheeler, Hof’s partner-in-crime, was also sentenced for his involvement. He received a suspended sentence of eight years in state prison for, according to CDFW, “assault with a firearm upon a peace officer with an enhancement of personally using a firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm, using threats and violence upon an executive officer, negligently discharging a firearm at an occupied vehicle, and one misdemeanor violation of “spotlighting” (using artificial light to poach wildlife).”

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