Calaveras County man accused of fatally shooting neighbor amid dispute
A Calaveras County man has been arrested on suspicion of fatally shooting his neighbor during a dispute, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies responded on the evening of Saturday, June 26, to a property on the 600 block of Ridge Road in Railroad Flat to investigate a report of a shooting, which they later learned had been the result of a dispute between neighbors.
The victim, an adult male, was located and prepped for transport but died of his injuries en route to the hospital.
By the time investigators responded to the scene, deputies had identified the suspect as 66-year-old Ralph McGaughran. McGaughran had reportedly gotten into a dispute with two other neighbors — all three live on adjoining parcels of land — over McGaughran’s allegedly unsafe target-shooting on his property.
Evidence and witness statements further revealed that such practices had already endangered the life of the victim in this case on at least one prior occasion. Moreover, detectives discovered that all three individuals had been illegally growing marijuana, although not in coordination with one another.
After obtaining and serving search warrants on all three parcels of land, authorities seized a combined total of over 500 growing marijuana plants and over 40 pounds of processed marijuana.
McGaughran was ultimately arrested and booked on suspicion of murder, in addition to firearm- and marijuana-related charges.