Shots fired at Boca campground |

Shots fired at Boca campground

David Bunker
Sierra Sun

A muzzle flash and the report of high-caliber rifle made it clear to the three Lake Tahoe men that their Boca-area camping trip was over.

Their weekend on the Little Truckee River, north of Boca Reservoir at the Boyington Campground, began innocently. But it took a dangerous turn when their neighbor in the campground, Frederick Keenan from Riverside, Calif., unexpectedly pulled out an old military rifle and allegedly fired it at the group of men.

“They pulled into the same area (as the lone camper) and started setting up camp,” said Nevada County Sheriff Sgt. Joe Salivar. “They struck up a conversation with the guy.”

But when the group moved their camp to a flatter spot, Keenan, who the sheriff’s department said appeared to be drinking, started acting wildly.

“While they were setting up camp the second time, they noticed he was acting strange, talking to himself and hooting and hollering,” said Salivar.

That’s when the campers remember Keenan yelling “I’ll show you,” and pulled a high-powered rifle from his truck, Salivar said.

Keenan’s shot hit the ground between two of the weekenders, spraying dirt and rocks up at both campers, according to sheriff’s reports. And that’s when the trio decided to hit the road.

“Basically they knew it was time to leave,” said Salivar.

The group drove to the nearest phone and called the sheriff’s office at approximately 8 p.m.

Sheriff’s officers, California Highway Patrol and Truckee police drove to the campsite and warily approached the man’s truck. After finding nothing, they backed off and waited, said Salivar. During a second search of the vehicle, later in the night, officers found Keenan asleep in his truck. They believe he had returned to his truck after fleeing into the woods.

Police arrested Keenan on the charge of assault with a deadly weapon. He will be tried in Truckee.

Officers are still searching for a motive for the shooting, and have turned up only one clue so far.

“It appears there was some alcohol involved,” Salivar said. “How much, we don’t know.”