Suspect at large after shootout with ranch hand near Castro Valley

ALAMEDA COUNTY (BCN) — Authorities searched a 300-acre area near Castro Valley Thursday afternoon for a suspected poacher after a shoot-out with a ranch hand, but were unable to locate the suspect, a spokesman for the Alameda County sheriff’s department said.

Sgt. Ray Kelly said sheriff’s deputies and the California Highway Patrol responded to the 22000 block of Eden Canyon Road, about a quarter-mile north of Highway 580, around 3:15 p.m. and set up a large perimeter.

The ranch hand was herding livestock in the area when he saw a man who was firing a rifle and he told the man to stop shooting. However, the man raised his rifle and fired it at the ranch hand, who was about 150 yards away, Kelly said.

The ranch hand wasn’t struck by the gunfire. He had his own weapon and fired back at the man in self-defense but also missed. The suspect then left the area, according to Kelly.

The ranch hand is cooperating with authorities and isn’t being detained, Kelly said.

Deputies, CHP officers and two aircraft spent several hours searching more than 300 acres of steep, wooded terrain but were unable to locate the suspect.

They intend to continue investigating the incident as an attempted murder. Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call investigators at (510) 667-7721.

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