Updated at 10:55 a.m. Wednesday
The three adult men killed Tuesday morning near Rail Road Flat were attempting to steal from a medical marijuana garden, according to witness statements to Calaveras County Sheriff investigators.
In a news statement issued about 10:25 a.m. Wednesday, the Sheriff’s Office reported that Leon Michael Grammer, 38, was residing at the property with the marijuana garden on Railroad Flat Road near Doe Road. Grammer reportedly encountered three intruders on the property stealing marijuana early Tuesday morning.
Investigators said that Grammer reportedly armed himself and discharged several rounds toward the intruders. Grammer also reportedly called his brother, Jeremiah Lee Barrett, 30, of Jackson, and asked him to respond to the property.
Barrett reportedly arrived armed with a shotgun and fatally shot the three men as they ran on a roadway. Detectives interviewed Grammer and Barrett and then arrested them. Bail for Barrent was set at $2.5 million.
The Sheriff’s Office has not yet released the names of the three dead men because their relatives have not yet been notified.
Updated at 10:20 a.m. Wednesday
The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office has arrested two people in connection with the deaths of three people whose bodies were found Tuesday near Rail Road Flat.
The Calaveras County Sheriff’s booking log published Wednesday morning indicated that Jeremiah Lee Barrett, 30, of Volcano, was arrested at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday on suspicion of murder and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Leon Michael Grammer, 38, of the same address in Volcano as Barrett, was arrested at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday on suspicion of being an accessory to a crime and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Calaveras County Sgt. Anthony Eberhardt on Wednesday morning confirmed that Barrett and Grammer were arrested in connection to the Rail Road Flat killings.
Eberhardt did not offer any further details or indicate whether others involved in the killings might still be at large in the community.
Original story filed on Tuesday
The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday was investigating the deaths of three people on Railroad Flat Road south of Rail Road Flat.
Sheriff’s deputies reportedly went to the intersection of Railroad Flat Road and Doe Road about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday after receiving reports of shooting in the area.
When they got to the scene deputies found three “deceased subjects.”
At 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, little information had been released on the deaths or the investigation. Officials did not disclose if the victims were male or female, or if their deaths were related to the shooting reports.
Calaveras County Sheriff Sgt. Anthony Eberhardt did say Tuesday night that investigators were interviewing a “person of interest” in the killings.
Colleen “Coco” Kelly, who lives across Rail Road Flat Road from scene, said she heard gunfire.
“I heard a gunshot about 6:40 in the morning. And then I heard another one and then a third, and then just pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, a whole series. At first I thought someone was just getting a deer on their property because it was about dawn,” Kelly said.
Later, she wondered if perhaps someone had just chosen an unusually early hour for target practice since gunfire is a common sound in the neighborhood. Later in the morning, however, emergency vehicles began to arrive.
Kelly said she saw medics with stretchers approach a silver sport utility vehicle parked inside the homicide scene. She said a second vehicle on the side of Rail Road Flat Road a short distance away near a trailer park had window shot out.
Kelly also said that from her property she could see investigators finding shells just inside a fence line.