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Suspects sought in North Coast crossbow killing

  • Phoenix Triton King (LAKE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE)

EUREKA — A man and a 16-year-old girl were on the loose Monday after shooting two transients, one fatally, with a crossbow in a heavily wooded area of coastal Northern California, sheriff's officials said.

The suspects, also transients, apparently thought the victims had stolen from their transient camp, according to Humboldt County Sheriff's Lt. Dave Morey.

The shooting occurred on Sunday. Deputies responded to a report of an injured man on the side of a road in Eureka around 12:30 p.m., Morey said. The caller said the man appeared to have been shot twice with an arrow, and there were two people fleeing the area on bicycles.

A witness attempted to detain the people, but they fled into a heavily wooded area, Morey said.

Deputies found a 41-year-old man suffering from three crossbow injuries. He was treated and released at a hospital.

The second victim, a 44-year-old man, was found dead nearby. He had suffered a single arrow shot to the face that was fired at close range, Morey said. Neither victim has been identified.

The male suspect — 20-year-old Phoenix Triton King — is white with heavy-framed black glasses, Morey said. The girl's identity was not released, though she is described as black.

The roughly quarter-mile-wide peninsula where the victims were found is flanked by the Pacific Ocean and a bay and is home to numerous homeless encampments, Morey said.

The victims had been living there for several months. The suspects were apparently new to the area and had a crude encampment, Morey said.

Authorities searched for the suspects late into the night on Sunday by air and on foot with the help of a police K-9. Morey said authorities had searched the entire area, and there was no plan to resume the search on Monday.

"We're certain the suspects don't have access to a vehicle or any type of transportation, so they're going to be on foot," he said.

Detectives, however, would likely return to the area to check for any additional evidence and look for potential witnesses, Morey said.

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