A Yuba County, CA, deputy ran into a house in Northern California to pull two wounded colleagues to safety after a shootout with a suspect near a marijuana farm belonging to a Rastafarian church Wednesday. The deputies were called to the scene by the church.
The two deputies were expected to survive after their fellow deputy, a 22-year veteran, went alone into a house where the gunman had fled, Yuba County Sheriff Steve Durfor said. The wounded deputies were in fair condition at a hospital, the sheriff’s department said Wednesday on Twitter.
The deputy did not see the suspect, later identified as 33-year-old Mark Anthony Sanchez, or hear gunfire while rescuing the pair Tuesday. SWAT team members later found Sanchez dead, likely from shots fired by the deputies, Durfor told the Associated Press, though it’s possible they were self-inflicted.
Sanchez had been working for about a month at the farm owned by Sugarleaf Rastafarian Church, which believes that marijuana is sacred and grows it about 55 miles (88.5 kilometers) north of Sacramento.
The church’s leader, Heidi Lepp, said she received a call from members who worked on the farm saying the man, who she knew only as “Sawyer,” was ripping up plants and wielding a gun. She told the workers to leave and called authorities.
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