2 men arrested after being detained by citizens for Shelter Cove burglary


SHELTER COVE, Calif. - Two men were arrested after a burglary in Shelter Cove Friday morning that involved one suspect being detained by citizens who shot him with a rubber-bullet shotgun, according to the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office (HCSO). At around 8 a.m. on Nov. 3 a homeowner called the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office to report that her home on Redwood Road was in the process of being burglarized. The woman reportedly said she was watching the burglary live on her security camera system from another location. The woman said she also called friends in Shelter Cove and advised them of the burglary. Before deputies arrived, HCSO said the friends the homeowner called checked the area and noticed at least one individual run from the back of the house into a wooded area. Deputies said the Shelter Cove citizens located a person nearby who matched the description of the subject running from the residence. According to officials, two citizens detained the person they saw running, who was later identified as 39-year-old Eric Travis Black. According to HCSO, one citizen was in possession of a 12 gauge shotgun that was loaded with "less lethal" ammunition, which fires rubber rounds that are intended to stun, but not penetrate a person's body. According to deputies, Black soon became uncooperative with the citizens and attempted to take the shotgun away from the citizen. A short struggle over the shotgun ensued and the citizen was able to regain possession, HCSO said, adding that Black continued to resist the citizens and ignore their commands. Officials said when Black began reaching into his pockets, the citizens said they feared he was going to produce a weapon. The citizen then intentionally shot Black in the calf with a less lethal rubber round, HCSO said. The citizens said Black then complied and they were able to restrain him until law enforcement arrived. Black was found to be in possession of stolen property, according to HCSO. Sheriff's deputies also reported that another group of citizens located a second possible suspect in the area, who was later identified as Shaun Michael Stell. Stell was also detained by citizens without incident until law enforcement arrived. Black was arrested for possession of stolen property and outstanding warrants and Stell was arrested for outstanding warrants, HCSO said. Both were transported and booked into the Humboldt County Jail. Black was medically cleared before being booked and was not seriously injured by the rubber round, according to officials, who added that the citizen who shot Black is not being charged with a crime at this time. The incident is still under investigation. Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Sheriff's Office at 707-445-7251 or the Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.