Officers who arrived on the scene of a shooting in Schurz on Friday night would notice an already tense atmosphere after the killing of two officers near Sacramento put all law enforcement personnel on edge.
Shots were reported via 911 when a confrontation occurred between a resident of the town and two truck drivers who had pulled into a vacant lot near the now vacant café and location of a recent house fire earlier in the week.
Confronting the truck drivers with a snub-nosed revolver was Blaine Clark of 1301 Wavoka Drive in Schurz. He had informed the truck drivers that they were on private property and on a crime scene though no police tape was visible. It was confirmed that Clark’s resident on Wavoka Drive was on patented county land, even though it resided within the boundaries of the Walker River Paiute Tribe reservation.
When talks between the drivers and Clark could not resolve the issue, Clark would fire a shot in the direction of the drivers and a canine. Tensions grew more when Clark assaulted one of the drivers with a part of the revolver in the chest. 911 was called.
Knowing that Walker River Tribal Police were on their way, Clark barricaded himself inside the home where his wife was present. Tribal Chief Gary Hall and other officers tried to talk Clark out of the home with the use of a bullhorn. Though Clark refused to leave the home, his wife exited the home where she told officers that Clark was still in possession of a firearm.
Nevada Highway Patrol would shut down U.S. Highway 95 to keep traffic at a safe distance from the now crime scene and the motorists were diverted down Hospital Road away from the scene.
Though negotiations for Clark to exit the house were falling on deaf ears, a car entered the scene driven by Austin Sullivan, living at the address on Wovoka. Inside the car was his wife, Nicole. Both had entered the perimeter illegally and were taken into custody for obstructing a peace officer. Austin was also booked for disobeying traffic control device.
Two hours into negotiations, Sheriff Stewart Handte advised Mineral County Dispatch to call out Lyon County SWAT team, as Clark was showing no signs of cooperation.
Thirty minutes after calling SWAT, Clark exited the home and was arrested on the following charges: drawing a deadly weapon in a threatening manner; discharge of a firearm in public; obstruction of peace officer; ex-felon failure to register; aim/discharge of firearm – two counts; ex-felon in possession of firearm; assault with a deadly weapon – two counts; battery with a deadly weapon. His bail was set at $360,640. (As of press time, he has not bonded out.)
All three suspects were booked into the Mineral County Detention Center. Nicole and Austin bonded out earlier in the week.
Handte states, “All law enforcement was on edge after the Auburn shooting. This could have gone very bad, very quickly, but it resolved itself and no one was injured.” The incident lasted almost four hours.