Canyon Point Campground shooting: Officials search for man who opened fire on Arizona forest crew

Posted at 2:14 PM, Jul 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-05 20:56:12-04

Authorities are continuing the manhunt for a suspect accused of starting multiple brush fires and shooting at a forest service employee in Coconino County.

On Monday, authorities were called to Pond Circle in Forest Lakes after receiving reports about eight brush fires that sparked in the area. Residents told officials that a man with dark complexion was recently seen wandering the area. He was last seen wearing a royal blue T-shirt with a white, long-sleeved undershirt. 

The following day a forest service employee attempted to make contact with a man who matched the description provided by witnesses. During the interaction, the person fired at the victim seven times with a handgun and twice with a shotgun.

"That's hard to believe that he wasn't hit or injured," said Jon Paxton with the Coconino County Sheriff's Office. 

The forest service employee was able to escape the area unharmed and called authorities immediately after the incident occurred.

As a result of the shooting and brush fires, officials evacuated residents near the Canyon Point Campground as a precaution. A “code red” was also issued for the Forest Lakes area. Campers that evacuated and left behind personal items are not currently being allowed in to get any of their items left behind.

CCSO believes the suspect is a transient and has been residing the area for the past few months.

Authorities are warning those in the area the suspect is considered armed and dangerous.

"We've been asking them to please be careful, please lock their doors," Paxton said. He urges anyone with information to call police.

45 officers from various agencies are assisting in the search.

Stay with ABC15 News, ABC15 Mobile and for the latest information this developing situation.