Search for missing hiker on hold after volunteer shot

Citing safety concerns, Northern California authorities put on hold the search for a missing hiker while they seek to find a gunman who shot and wounded a volunteer rescuer.

The rescuer was in stable condition Wednesday with a hip wound, and crews worked late Tuesday to bring him to a site where a rescue helicopter could land, said Paul Schmidt, operations captain for the Nevada County Sheriff's Office.

Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal told the Sacramento Bee ( ) that helicopter crews plan to use heat-detecting devices to try to locate the shooter.

Authorities have not identified the wounded man.

The missing hiker is not believed to have any involvement in the shooting.

Immediately after the shooting, the wounded man and two colleagues took cover in a wooded area to await rescue.

The three volunteers with the Placer County Search and Rescue team were among several groups looking for the 75-year-old hi8ker reported missing along the South Yuba River near the rural town of Washington, about 75 miles west of Reno, Nevada, when the shooting occurred.

Schmidt said it wasn't clear what prompted the shooting.

"We have absolutely no information on who or why," he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.


This story has been corrected to show Washington, California, is west of Reno, Nevada, not east.