An argument between two neighbors over the possession of some rocks sent a third party to the hospital with a gunshot wound and a 59-year-old man to jail with attempted murder charges.
Christopher John Ingols, of Mountain Ranch, was arrested on the evening of Aug. 20 following an alleged altercation with a female neighbor that became violent.
The argument, which took place near the intersection of West Murray Creek and Salamander roads in Mountain Ranch, ensued over the possession of rocks that had been removed from a nearby creek, according to the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office. The altercation escalated into a physical fight, and the female victim reportedly retrieved an object “similar to an axe handle” to defend herself, which was eventually taken from her by Ingols. Both the victim and Ingols claim to have been struck by the object.
“Fearing further injury after being struck by the axe handle, the female victim drove away using (Ingols’) truck, eventually parking the truck at the residence of a third neighbor. The female victim and the neighbor then returned to (Ingols’) residence using the neighbor’s vehicle,” the sheriff’s office stated in a press release. “At this time, (Ingols) reportedly fired one shot at or near the female victim and the neighbor while threatening to kill both of them if they did not return (his) truck.”
The victim returned the truck with a flat tire to Ingols’ driveway and walked away. However, Ingols upon recovering his truck, allegedly began driving alongside the victim, who was walking on West Murray Creek Road, continuing to threaten her and argue with her.
“A fourth and unrelated male neighbor heard the argument and believed that a female acquaintance was in distress. The (fourth) neighbor drove to the area on an all-terrain vehicle where he encountered the female victim and (Ingols),” the Sheriff’s Office stated. “As the fourth neighbor arrived and attempted to intervene on behalf of the female victim, (Ingols) fired several shots at him, resulting in injury to his leg and damage to the all-terrain vehicle.”
The injured neighbor and female victim were able to escape the area and contact law enforcement while Ingols returned to his residence.
Deputies responded to the scene, where Ingols was arrested without incident. An investigation of the crime scene continued throughout the night, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Ingols faces charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and deadly threats. He was booked into the Calaveras County jail with bail set at $2.23 million.