UPDATE AT 11:39 a.m.
Humboldt County Sheriff's Office
On Friday, Aug. 18 at about 9:30 a.m., a male subject living in Manila phoned the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office requesting a deputy and medical assistance. He said he had been assaulted at his home in Manila by an unknown subject. The victim said he believed the suspect left the scene riding a bicycle. He also stated he believed shots were fired and he may have been shot.
The scene was secured by deputies and the victim was transported to the hospital where it was determined that he had a minor laceration on the back of this head. The victim did not know what weapon caused the injury. The investigating deputies found no evidence of shots being fired around the location of occurrence.
The victim’s home was an illegal structure he’d built in an area where transients are known to frequent. The structure was burned to the ground.
Humboldt Fire responded and suppressed the fire. The CHP responded to close State Route 255 and create a bypass while the fire was extinguished. The deputies did a systematic search for the suspect, or any additional victims, at the scene. The reporting victim was the only one at the location of occurrence.
Mad River Union
MANILA – A fire broke out this morning, Aug 18 around 9:30 a.m. at a homeless encampment in Manila, sending a plume of black smoke into the sky and closing down State Highway 255.
There were conflicting reports of an assault and possible shooting related to the fire. A neighbor heard yelling in the area before the fire. Another resident of Manila said he saw someone running down the road on the west side of Manila before he called 911 and reported the fire.
The encampment is located on the east side of the highway near the railroad tracks south of Pacific Avenue.
According to Anthony Domenica, who lives in the encampment, about six people occupy the site along Humboldt Bay. He said that there has been an ongoing dispute with one of the occupants, who he claimed set his own shack on fire, then left the area.
Deputies from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene carrying assault rifles and guarded firefighters from Humboldt Bay Fire as they doused the flames.
Deputies warned a Union reporter to stay away from the bushy area, as there were was a suspect or suspects in the area who were known to be armed.
Domenica said that the person who started the fire is in possession of a firearm, but had left the area on foot.