K-9 lunges, deputy shoots fellow cop in neck

Authorities have determined that the shooting, which took place during an arrest, was an accident

By Sean Longoria

REDDING, Calif. — The shooting of a Shasta County sheriff's deputy last month at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area was an accident, investigators from the Redding Police Department said Tuesday.

Deputy Nolan Guiducci was shot in the neck accidentally by Deputy Gerry Maul on April 22 while searching for two suspects near Whiskeytown Lake.

When rangers investigated, police have said, they found Elizabeth Hope Riley, 46, but not her husband, Hank Riley, 48.

Elizabeth Riley, who was wanted on a no-bail warrant from Butte County for sale or transportation of marijuana, walked away from rangers, and that's when deputies were called.

Redding police investigators determined Maul's gun fired when he and Guiducci were attempting to handcuff Elizabeth Riley on a steep, rock-covered bank near the lake.

Police Sgt. Al Mellon said Tuesday that Maul was trying to holster his pistol when his police dog lunged toward Elizabeth Riley, throwing him off balance.

As he tried to regain his balance, Maul accidentally fired and hit Guiducci, who had bent down to handcuff the woman, Mellon said.

The wound wasn't lifethreatening, and Guiducci was released from Mercy Medical Center in Redding two days after being shot. He's still recovering from the injury and will return to work when medically cleared, Sheriff Tom Bosenko said Tuesday.

Because the shooting was accidental, the case won't be forwarded to the Shasta County District Attorney's Office, investigators said.

Maul was placed on administrative leave in keeping with sheriff's office policy, Bosenko said. He's since been medically cleared and returned to duty, but Bosenko said he couldn't disclose how the shooting will be addressed with Maul.

"While I am prohibited from going into specific detail regarding personnel matters, I can assure citizens that this matter will be addressed in a firm, fair and consistent manner, given the circumstances of the incident," Bosenko said.

Elizabeth Riley was booked into the Shasta County jail and transferred to the Butte County Jail.

Hank Riley is still at large. He is wanted on a $139,000 warrant for assaulting a peace officer in Trinity County, as well as seven other warrants for child endangerment and drug and driving violations in Shasta, Trinity and Butte counties.

Maul has worked as a Shasta County deputy sheriff since September 2000. He started his career in the Shasta County jail and has worked patrol since May 2003, Wallace said. Maul is currently a K-9 officer and a senior member of the search-andrescue team.

Guiducci has been a member of the Shasta County Sheriff's Office since June 2008. He is assigned as a patrol deputy in Shasta Lake, said Redding police Lt. Jeff Wallace.

Guiducci also is a SWAT team member assigned to the Shasta Anti-Gang Enforcement unit.

Guiducci is still recovering after being shot in the neck by a fellow deputy April 22. Maul's gun discharged as his dog lunged at a suspect, Redding police said.

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