Game warden shooting is first in department history |

Game warden shooting is first in department history

JARBO GAP, Calif. (AP) ” A California Department of Fish and Game warden shot and killed a man in a remote area of the Sierra foothills, the first fatal shooting by a state game warden in the agency’s history.

The warden, who was not injured, exchanged gunfire with the man Monday outside a home near Jarbo Gap, east of Chico and north of Oroville.

Fish and Game spokesman Steve Martarano said he could not reveal why the warden was in the area or why he approached the man. He said the warden learned the man had an outstanding warrant and was trying to make an arrest when the shootout began.

“The preliminary indication is (the man) shot first and the warden returned fire,” Martarano said.

Neither the warden nor the man was immediately identified. The warden is on routine administrative leave while Butte County authorities investigate the shooting.

“We’ve had 12 wardens killed in the line of duty, but we believe this is the first suspect shot and killed by a fish and game warden,” Martarano said.

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The first California game warden was killed in 1913. The most recent shooting of a warden was two years ago when the agent was shot in both legs while assisting Santa Clara County authorities in raiding a marijuana grove. The warden survived, but one of the suspects was fatally shot by an officer from another law enforcement agency.