Shots fired, but curious onlookers were the greater threat to public safety
Bishop Police officers responded to a call for shots fired stemming from an altercation on the 300 block of West Line Street on Friday, July 10 at approximately 7:45 p.m. The gunshot ordeal was ultimately overshadowed by the crowd-control cops had to implement to deal with unruly bystanders in addition to the suspects and gunshots. Two citizens not involved with the altercation were arrested for obstruction.
When they responded to the incident, Bishop Police officers along, with Inyo County Sheriff deputies, set a perimeter around the scene, closing East Line Street near the intersection with Moffett Street, to the intersection with Hanby Street, according to information provided by the Bishop Police Department.
According to the Bishop Police Department, the incident stemmed from a “heated discussion” between two men, with one man allegedly displaying and discharging a firearm. There were no injuries. The two men cooperated with police and were detained without incident. Both were later released.
The firearm could not be found despite an extensive search of the area, according to a press release from the Bishop Police Department.
Bystander James Truhls recorded a 40-minute video of the scene and arrest, which he posted on Facebook. The video shows the scene unfolding as follows.
A small crowd of citizens begins to gather around the scene of the crime. The crowd inches closer, with many people pulling their phones out to try to capture the scene on video.
“This, of course, is of great concern to me,” said Bishop Police Chief Ted Stec of the incident. “When citizens place themselves and their children in harm’s way. There was no question that this was a call that should have caused folks to back way up and stay safe. Satisfaction of one’s curiosity shouldn’t outweigh personal or public safety.”
In the video, most of the crowd can be seen staying back from the scene as directed by law enforcement, but a few individuals appear unable to take the advice to stay clear. Some citizens come within a hundred feet or so of the scene, and law enforcement officers are seen stepping away from the crime scene to tell citizens to back up.