Olivehurst man admits firing shotgun at tenant over fence dispute
An argument over a closed gate ended Thursday in rural Yuba County when a 79-year-old landlord fired three shots at his tenant with a 12-gauge shotgun from 25 feet away — and missed, the Yuba County Sheriff's Department said.
Joe Buck Stockton, of Olivehurst, was booked into the Yuba County Jail on $500,000 bail on suspicion of attempted murder.
"I don't know how he missed," said Undersheriff Jerry Read.
The tenant, James E. Phipps, 57, suffered a minor cut on his head from a tree branch while running away, but was otherwise uninjured, the Sheriff's Department said.
Phipps' girlfriend, Tracey Clemmens, called the Sheriff's Department around 12:20 p.m. and said Phipps had been shot, which later proved unfounded, authorities said.
Stockton was angry at Phipps for locking a gate on property that Phipps rents from him in the 4700 block of Chippewa Trail, Read said.
The landlord tied a chain to a pickup and tried to pull the gate down when Phipps unlocked the gate and an argument ensued, investigators said.
"Stockton became enraged and retrieved his 12-gauge shotgun from his pickup," Read said.
Investigators said Stockton pointed the gun at Phipps and fired three rounds, but missed as Phipps fled on foot. Stockton also fled the scene.
Deputies found Stockton at his home in the 4800 block of Virginia Road in Olivehurst and took him into custody. Read said Stockton admitted shooting at Phipps.
Stockton was still in custody Thursday night.