SWAT Teams Hunt for Suspect After Search & Rescue Personnel Shot in Northern California Yesterday

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stock SWAT image.
stock SWAT image.

SWAT teams are currently searching a remote canyon in northern California this morning after a search and rescue (SAR) volunteer was shot while looking for a missing hikers, according to Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal.  They are searching for the shooter.

The SAR volunteer was shot in the hip yesterday evening while he and two other SAR team members were searching for a missing 75-year-old hiker in Nevada County about 65 miles northeast of Sacramento, CA.  They were searching in the Malakoff Diggins Historic State Park.

Sergeant Bob Jakobs of Nevada County Sheriff’s Office reports that the victim was airlifted to a nearby hospital and that his condition was immediately clear.

Location of Malakoff Diggins Historic State Park, CA.
Location of Malakoff Diggins Historic State Park, CA.

The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office has been searching for the missing hiker for the past 5 days.  Volunteers from the Placer Country Search and Rescue joined in the search today.

Three volunteer SAR members were searching a remote section of the Yuba river canyon yesterday when they heard 2 gunshots.  One of those gunshots hit one of the searchers.

Police has described this as an “active shooter situation.”  The identity of the shooter is unknown.

Helicopters and fire fighting planes with thermal imaging equipment were used to find the 3 SAR members who were hiding after the gunshots.

Malakoff Diggins Historic State Park, CA.
Malakoff Diggins Historic State Park, CA.

They were found, the injured person was airlifted, and the other two hiked out.

SWAT unites from Nevada County and Placer Country are now searching for that shooter, according to Sergeant Bob Jakobs of Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.

The 75-year-old missing man is still missing.

Steven Wolf, the SAR volunteer who was shot yesterday.
Steven Wolf, the SAR volunteer who was shot yesterday.


On August 10, at around 6:37 p.m., several Placer County Search and Rescue volunteers were assisting the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office for a search of a missing person near the town of Washington on the South Yuba River. The three-person team was between Brown and Fish Creek when a gunshot rang out and one of the team members, Steven Wolf, went down, reporting he had been shot in the hip. The two remaining search and rescue members found cover and radioed for assistance.

The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, members of their Special Enforcement Detail and the California Highway Patrol helicopter were able to reach the three volunteers in rugged terrain and in complete darkness. They were extricated by helicopter. Wolf was transported by helicopter to a local trauma center where he underwent surgery and has been stabilized. The Placer County Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Team assisted in the operation and will continue to aid the Nevada County Sheriff’s ongoing investigation today.

Search and Rescue volunteer Steve Wolf is 69 years old and lives in Newcastle. He has been a Search and Rescue volunteer for more than 10 years and is a member of the Ground Search Team. He is classified as a Type 1 certified searcher and considered one of the best in our unit. Steve volunteers and responds to almost all in- and out-of -county search requests. He is an avid hiker, recently hiking the Grand Canyon and routinely hiking the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Steve was recently asked to promote to the Search and Rescue command and control Overhead Team, but declined the offer because he felt so passionately about being a ground-level searcher. The two other searchers put themselves in danger while exposing their positions to ensure they were able to radio for help.

We have approximately 240 search and rescue volunteers who donate their own time to meet strident minimum standards and specific ongoing teams training requirements. Our volunteers are fundamental in our commitment to the community we serve. They are working and retired mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, sisters, brothers, husbands and wives. They serve our communities selflessly and we are so proud they are a part of our Sheriff’s family. Please keep Steve Wolf and his family in your thoughts, along with the deputies tasked with bringing the suspect to justice.

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