- 43rd Legislature
HB2408 - The "innocent until proven guilty" 1997 law.
Look for 13-103, 13-205.
Did anyone read ARS
13-115. Presumption of
innocence and benefit of doubt; degrees of guilt? Was this in
conflict prior to SB1145 (2007)? YES!
Innocent-Unless-Proven-Guilty Restored in Arizona !!
Gun Law Update 2006 AZ
Arizona Castle Doctrine explained - In plain English
Closer look at AZ "Castle Doctrine" bill
Dateline's "Trail of Evidence"
"Trail of Evidence"
News: Harold Fish
|Interviews between Harold
Fish and Detective Scott Feagan 05/11/2004
FIRST CONTACT INTERVIEW
INTERVIEWER: DET. SCOTT FEAGAN
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SF: Hi Mr. Fish how are you doing?
HF: Alright I guess.
SF: You got your blanket? This has got to be pretty traumatic for you sir. Let me introduce myself. I am Scott Feagan, I am a Detective out of Flagstaff. Obviously I am going to need to chat with you and see what all happened here. I understand your car is down the road.
HF: I have one down here yeah.
SF: That way?
HF: Yeah its off the 300, the old Rim Road.
SF: Okay, how far down the road is it?
HF: Its very close, it goes in a little bit and then another road comes in and we just pulled in and there was a little camping area there and its just parked right there. It's not more than half a mile at the most, probably 200 yards maybe.
SF: Oh, you camped over there?
HF: No I was hiking the Arizona Trail and my Wife.and I came up in two cars from Phoenix and put that one there so I could hike back to it. Then I got in with her and we went down to the Tonto National Bridge thing there. She let me out there and then I hiked. She went on home and I was going to hike back and then get in that car and go home.
SF: Okay, I'm going to need you to come to Flagstaff and talk to me. Out here is not one of the better places. I understand you need to call your wife. Absolutely, and what I would like to do is one I need to look at your car, search your car, I need your permission to search your car on the deal. The way that we look at things we cover all bases. Not that I don't believe your story, your story sounds very valid, but I need to look at this to make sure everything is as it seems. And it does, you know I can see he's got a couple of dogs in the car. I'm impounding his dogs and get your story as to you're coming up the trail, his demeanor, his angle and from that I've got one of our
trackers coming in tomorrow morning, daylight, so he can look at... Could you step out for a minute? Bring that blanket with you and cover up. Wrap yourself up it gets cold out here.
Officer: Hey Scott?
Officer: Can you talk to the reporter?
Officer: What do you want me to tell them?
SF: Just under investigation at this time. That's Chris in my car.
Officer: Oh, okay, you know what we have to get this fire truck out of here.
SF: Yeah why don't we get these gentlemen on their way
Officer: Thank you
SF: Your welcome, thanks
EMT; Here is our dispatch times, call number, the obvious wounds that we saw, here is a cardiac strip that shows consistently in 3 leads to confirm that he was dead. There is not much there but it's something. Do you guys need our home phone numbers or anything like that? Oh you guys got all that.
SF: I would rather stay out of here. Let's back him out of here.
HF: It's going to get cold up here tonight
SF: Man it will, it actually will. Alright, excuse me just a second. Okay what I am doing. I am trying to keep all the tracks that came here. What angle did he come running at you at?
HF: He and the dogs were at the front area there by the corner of the car. I came up the road trail, here. As I came up the dogs started running towards me and I thought they were trying to bite me, they were really aggressive.
SF: Okay, one was like a German Shepherd, kind of looking dog. It's a brown...
HF: I thought one was a Chow, but all I remember is they were yellow and teeth and growling.
SF: Fair enough. We can walk right over here. Tell you what I am going to have to get my jacket. I'm not used to this.
HF: They came that way and I remember I had an automatic on my pack. The little belt thing there and I remember telling him Stop the dogs. I couldn't tell whether I had startled him. I don't know what was going on over there. I remember yelling at him to call off the dogs and as they got about half way I drew the pistol and I am still yelling stop the dogs. They got right up to me and the biggest one, the most aggressive one, got about right there and put a shot in the ground in front of the dog. To scare him and stop him. The dogs jerked and went off to the side like that and here he came. He was running down hill full bore, yelling at me, he was going to kill me, he was going to get me and I don't know if I shot the dog, I don't know.
HF: So I am yelling at him, back off, stop, and he's right on top of me and he's swinging his hands. I couldn't see if he had anything in his hands. I don't know. He looked crazy. He's coming right at me. The dogs on both sides of me, like that. Its bam, like that, I couldn't stop it. I couldn't get down, because it's down hill like that, I had my pack on, I couldn't go anywhere. I thought what's going on here. I figured you can't run from dogs, they will get you from behind, him on top of me. I wanted to anywhere else.
SF: We can go ahead and step down here just a little bit. So somewhere around the front of your vehicle here.
HF: His vehicle
SF: I'm sorry, I meant his vehicle. Do you know if he is on this side. Where was he, was he standing?
HF: When I first saw him they were in that upper corner up there where that shadow is.
SF: Let me grab my light and point that out. So he started right here or that shadow way up there?
HF: No, right there.
SF: So you looked up and saw is he standing?
HF: No he sat up and .l don't know if he was sleeping or whatever. It's the goofiest thing. I was real happy because I saw a car and I thought okay, I didn't know how far it was to the highway. I knew it was up here, but I didn't know how far. So I saw the car and thought I'm out. Done. Anyway
the next thing I know here come the dogs. I wasn't paying attention to him so much, I knew he was out here moving around, but I was focused on those dogs. I remember yelling at him, call off your dogs and then they got somewhere around in here I guess and I had the gun and about right down there bam. I shot right in front of them thinking maybe that will back them off and it did. You know one went off to the left, one went off to the right. They just kind of off to the side there and I don't know after that I don't know how far they went because barn! I look up and good grief, here is this guy coming and he is doing this kind of thing and yelling at me and he's got this crazy look in his eyes. I'm yelling stop, get back and all this kind of stuff. He's right on top of me.
SF: He would be above you. Now I'm looking at this tree where he is, were you staying right there on the trail where he is?
HF: I must have been about where the stick is.
SF: Is that your stick?
HF: Yeah that's my walking stick. So I'm guessing I, was somewhere right in there and I remember I shot..
SF: Now when the dogs were coming did you drop the stick? Do you recall?
HF: No I had it my hand but I didn't have it tied on, so I don't know if I dropped it at that point or I wasn't thinking about the stick. If I had thought about it I probably could have beat him with the stick. I just never... it was so fast.
HF: I don't think there was three seconds went by if that and all of a sudden I'm going through real happy I'm out, I could get home to good grief dogs coming and a crazy guy. He was coming so fast I mean running full bore down hill at me. I remember the hands going like this. I'm going to get you, kill you. I thought good grief, I got no where to go. You know. I can't go down hill. Man. I thought man I got dogs, I got crazy guy, I didn't know if he had picked something up. I couldn't tell his hands were moving so fast. I thought I was going to get murdered out here in the middle of the woods. I was just wishing I was the heck someplace else.
SF: If we knew all the answers it would be an easier world wouldn't it?
HF: You know I have never had anybody do that
HF: Most of the time, 9 times out of 10 they call their dogs over, they say hi, you just go on down the road. I wish I could talk to him. I wish I could ask him what the heck were you thinking.
SF: We do too. So that's not a problem. Well let me go and walk you back up here. I will be right back and snap some photos. Or do you want me to give you my camera?
Officer; No will wait for you Scott
SF: Yes sir
Officer: Just a suggestion if he wants to use the cell phone to call his wife, let him.
SF: Oh yeah. Okay. The 300 Road is off of this way, so his vehicle is up there and he said absolutely we have permission to search kind of thing. We have a satellite phone. What's that?
HF: One of the officer's got my keys.
HF: Its got a black rubber rim on it
Officer; All of Mr. Fish's property is in here Scott
SF: Okay, I have a satellite phone out here. Would you like to call your wife.
HF: Oh I would love to call my wife because I know she will be worried
SF: What I would like her to do is come up to Flagstaff. I think it would be best if she picks you up. We want to go through your car.
HF: Sure, makes sense
SF: It's a procedure we do, we can check. We are looking for you know everything from alcohol, drugs, so we will do that.
HF: You won't find any of that. So go right ahead. There is an ammo can in the back but its got food in it. Its just got canned'good and such. There's some ammunition under the passenger seat. There is like a third of a box.
SF: Is that the same ammo that you carried?
HF: Yes its 10 mm
SF: What kind of hand gun is it?
HF:' It's a Kimber 10 mm auto
SF: 10, okay that's a good gun
Well, fairly brand new
SF: Okay, alright, let's let you talk to your wife
Okay I appreciate it
SF: Get her to go ahead and come on up to Flagstaff
Now we've got seven kids. The youngest of which is 2 months old
SF: Oh my goodness
So that's going to be a problem. What time is it here. I guess she can probably get a hold of somebody. and get them over there and have them baby-sit the kids real quick, I suppose. But if I can get a hold of her the sooner the better. They should be asleep so it should be a matter of just having somebody come over and stay with the kids. My oldest son is 15 and he could probably do it. She is a pretty resourceful lady. She is a nurse, she is an RN so she is used to handling things.
SF: Okay lets do this, oh he is on that phone. You'll have to wait. Let me have you go ahead and wait in the car because I know it is going to be cold out here. Will let you make a phone call to her.
HF: I appreciate it.
SF: Hey Cap, when he gets off the phone, would you let Mr. Fish call his wife?
Officer; Oh sure
SF: I told him he would probably be a lot warmer in the car
Officer; I don't know if the cell phone is working correctly
SF: Oh we need a direct line. Where is your vehicle
Animal Control: It is up there. I parked on the other side of the tape
SF: Have you been told there are two dogs in the car? One of them is kind of hid under a backpack or he crawled under something. There is another yellow
one under the steering wheel. Right there, but I need them dogs at your facility and separated.
AC: And separated and how long do you want to hold them?
SF: I will call you how is that
AC: Okay, can I get some information from you?
SF: Well you can get everything you want from me
AC: Can you hold my flashlight?
SF: Here is your flashlight back. I'm going to slide up here and get my jacket, bare with me. Hey Chris is my car locked?
SF: Okay Chris: I left it open
HAROLD FISH DRIVE BACK INTERVIEW
INTERVIEWER: DET. SCOTT FEAGAN
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SF: Alright he is going to drive your van into town. You have your seat belt on?
HF: I do
SF: Did your Wife seem okay?
HF: Well I don't know if okay would be the right words, I mean she will handle the house and all that but she now knows the detail. I told her I had been involved in a shooting.
SF: You told her you was okay?
HF: I told her I was okay
HF: I told her I would go with you guys and spend the night in Flagstaff and get a hold of a couple of friends, one is a cousin, ones a fellow we know in church. I'm not sure what kind of law they practice but they probably know somebody. This is not something I am used to doing.
HF: We are kind of on new ground here.
SF: Oh absolutely, 48
SF: Back enroute to Flagstaff
SF: What I am wanting to do is sit down and I know and see talking its kind of like not one of the better places to sit down and talk to you. Kind of give you a while sitting back and recall what happened. Your story. At some point tomorrow I would like for you to walk me back through the scene showing... cause it shows from that angle right there obviously this guy is coming down on you hard. There is some scuff type marks where he is... It appears he is hauling ass.
HF: I don't think he could run any faster, the down hill accelerated him a lot.
SF: Tell you what those Elk are bad on this road, we have a lot of vehicle/Elk accidents out here
HF: Huge thing to hit too. Is there a time of year that it seems to be worse than others.
HF: Summer. I just wondered if it was a constant threat kind of condition
SF: To a degree it is, but from my experience and in talking to the Deputies on the road all the time is it appears there is a lot more hits in the summer. There is grass along the side of the roads. Believe it or not they are not that scared. You will even see big Bulls. You can always tell when it is hunting season. You see that piece of grass right here, that's prime eating and for some reason it appears to grow better along the side of the roads and they get out there and at some point something might spook them, could be a shadow off of something and they will just jump right in front of the vehicle. Its quick too.
HF: I guess there is nothing that can be done about it.
SF: No not at all, there is a lot of them up here too. So you have been retired how long now?
HF: A year ago, in May of last year.
SF: Did you have a thing of gas in your van?
HF: I should have gassed up just before we came. That's pretty good on that. The only one thing odd about it, you probably won't notice but a couple of years ago the water pressure gauge started doing really weird movements and clear over to the extreme side. First time I saw that I thought I was going to blow an engine or something.
SF: Oh man
HF: I pulled over thought maybe there was too much oil in it I don't know what. Finally I figured out it has to be something with the sensor, so I let it go for a couple of years. Its just another no nothing van that I just keep around for this kind of thing. It gets pretty good gas mileage, its 20 miles to the gallon, so if we are going to travel to the woods it doesn't require 4 wheel driving conditions, it wilt move me and the equipment down the road. Like I say if I can park it in the woods and it disappears someday its not a big thing. We have only been broken into once. We drove up to Jacob's Lake.
SF: That Jacob's Lake area is really nice.
HF: Its pretty up there, just so far away
SF: Yeah, its even far for us
HF: Is that part of your county?
HF: Is that right
SF: This county is huge.
HF: I knew it was big but wow
SF: It is huge, we have sub-stations in different areas. For example in Fredonia we have a Deputy up there. He is responsible to the Jacob's Lake area.
HF: That is where we had to take the van to get it fixed. I thought they would bring it. I don't know what it was, it was an insurance deal. We called up the insurance company and said this has happened and they said well, I thought they would bring us back into Flagstaff. They sent us to Fredonia. There was a repair station there, they did a fine job.
SF: They charge a lot?
HF: You know I think it was, I can't remember what the deductible was and that was all we had to pay. It wasn't too bad, but we had a bunch of stuff stolen. That is what hurt my feelings.
SF: They just break the window out?
HF: No, they somehow jimmied the passenger door I think. There were marks there. A sleeping bag got stolen. I could have kicked myself for not hiding it better. I thought I was being fairly bright because I parked not too far from the main road. Kind of like we did back here. My theory was the people driving by would kind of scare away anyone from trying to break into it. I was away from it for a day or two, may be they came in at night. It is such a remote area I was thinking they probably don't get that kind of traffic like you do here. I just wasn't anticipating to be broken. into.
SF: Yeah, you know we don't have a lot of break ins in that area in reality. So do you do archery up there?
HF: I was
SF: They do archery up there every year
HF: I love it up there
SF: What kind of bow you shoot?
HF: Then I was shooting a long bow which is neat but its kind of hard to hide. That's why- I ended up losing the bow. I shot compounds over the years but I kind of got away from those, kind of going back to more simple tackle and this kind of things. I enjoy it. I'm not nearly as good at it. I can't shoot nearly as far, accurately. I kind of watch my yardage, but its kinds of neat. Kind of fun to play with. I wish I was closer and easier to get up there. Its so far, it takes me 6 to 8 hours depending on how far you go. I noticed their upping the prices for season. $15 for charts. I believe its for archery. Its something else that makes life more difficult, they never remove restrictions it seems like they just come up with new ones.
SF: Yeah, that's very accurate.
HF: I think there is a lot of pressure, I think a lot of guys want to be up there and if they didn't control it some way there would really be a mess.
SF: I heard rumor they were going to turn it into a draw for archery.
HF: I would expect that they will, that's kind of the premiere unit right there. I suppose it will just go year after year until finally its that way for all. I suppose I don't know. We'lI see a lot of changes. It always seems to be more difficult with more rules. I don't know how to tell them how to do it any different because everybody wants to hunt elk or everybody wants to hunt Kaibab. You can't have everybody do what they want. I know that. More people moving to Arizona all the time. We are in Phoenix, which is now the 5th largest city in the United States. They were saying that last week, 5th largest city.
SF: Oh its growing like crazy
HF: So a lot of them want to hunt, I don't blame them. That's why you move to Arizona for. I would be the same way.
SF: I just can't seem to get drawn.
HF: Well we noticed that we didn't get drawn for anything last year. I think that's going to get worse, I'm sure it is. For me I'm 57 years old and I don't
know how much longer I'll have the eyes and the ability to hunt, but for my kids, I wish it were better.
SF: You got six kids?
SF: Seven kids
HF: We just had a surprise, a whoops. We thought we were through having kids. We really did. Guess not. So there is a little break, the next one is 5 years old. I got started late in life, I didn't get married until I was 42. No I was 38 when I got married. First kid was 42. So we have them from 2 months to 15 years now.
SF: They are such a pleasure though
HF: They are I don't know what I would do without them. Everyone's different and unique. Fun watching them develop. We have 5 boys, one girl for a long time and she was really feeling lonely, but this last one was a little girl so we are all happy about that.
SF: How old is your wife?
HF: She is 41 in November
HF: Didn't have sense enough to say no when I asked her to marry me.
SF: Is that smoke coming from your right or is that shadows?
HF: I hope its not smoke, I think its shadows. It is burning oil
SF: I don't smell like a brake or anything. Hey Chris can you pull over? 48 I was trying to get a hold of one of our Deputies.
Dispatcher: I am not able to copy
HF: Can I get out?
SF: Oh absolutely
Harold Fish Interview
Interviewer: Det. Scott Feagan 05/12/04
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± 165 MB
SF: What I do Harold is I understand the situation that you're in and I want you to understand the situation that you're in. Anytime there is a situation as serious as a death that is involved we are going to investigate and get all the information what has happened here. It clearly sounds to me like a case of self defense. Alright. From that tomorrow I would like for you to... once we get our people out there and do the crime scene, give them a tracker out there to look.... And you can see someone come running down through there. Kind of thing. It puts you there, your stick there, him there, you didn't run up to him.
HF: Oh no.
SF: And I mean the scene clearly shows that. But I have to talk to you and along that line and get all the details. I know you have already given a statement or written out some... have you read anything?
SF: Okay, you gave a statement or something
HF: First Officer that arrived. Asked me for a short statement, he just wanted bare bones.
SF: Okay, from that you are not a suspect. I want to make it very clear. Also, I want to tell you, you don't have to talk to me. Okay? You are not in custody. I want to make this clear. But one thing that I have to do and we do this with everyone... it's to protect us, I am going to read you your Miranda Rights. Okay? And from that it protects us so that we can investigate this in the event that it turned out you were a suspect along that line, it protects us, okay. So I am going to go ahead and read you your Miranda Rights. It's already the 12th today at 1:20 am. I am going to keep this brief too. Get you a little hit of rest.
HF: I am tired.
SF: I know you are. Harold you have the right to remain silent, anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.
You have the right to a presence of an attorney to assist you prior to questioning and to be with you during questioning if you so desire. If you cannot afford an attorney, you have the right to have an attorney appointed for you prior to questioning. Do you understand your rights?
SF: Do you voluntarily answer my questions?
SF: Alright. I'm going to go back since you know we don't know each other. I mean you remember my name?
SF: Scott Feagan, here, I'm going to give you a card just, right here. I'm going to put my cell phone number on it. I have gone through three pens tonight, this is my third one. You get your Hotel or something comes up, that's my cell phone that is with me and you give me a call. I can get you a ride or I can, I know everybody up here, so we will get you fixed up along that line. Okay. Let's start out what you started doing this morning from you getting up. Obviously you had a plan to come up hiking. Okay. Tell me about your hike.
HF: I just was going to hike part of the Arizona Trail. I've been doing sections of the Trail for a number of years and my Wife and I came up in two different vehicles.
SF: What is your Wife's name?
SF: Debora and the last is also Fish?
HF: Yes, Fish
SF: Okay, thank you sir. What time did you guys get up this morning.
HF: About six, five-thirty, six
HF: Did the usual stuff, got this kids off to school. Last kid left at 8:00 to go to school.
HF: Got gas, got on the road, oh golly, I guess about 9:30, 10:00, came up the Freeway North to Cottonwood, turned off the Freeway and got on the General Crook Trail. Came up to where it T's therewith 87 and then took that grey van, the one that had the regular phone. Took that over and left it there for me to come back to. That was going to be my transportation home. So...
SF: You took the grey van to where we picked it up?
HF: Yes, I wasn't really sure exactly where the trail was going to come out. I knew that it would be within a mile or two of where I came out. So then I got back in the vehicle with my Wife we drove on down to where I had the last section I hiked finish which was the Tonto National Bridge.
SF: So you are with the Wife and she... What time did you park the van and go?
HF: I guess about 11:00 we left the grey van there because we were about.. it was about 11:30 when she let me out to turn off to the Tonto National Bridge. It takes about a half an hour to get there. I wasn't really watching the time, except the time that I started hiking because I can judge my distance a lot of times by the time that I have covered. So I got out of the van at 11:30 and hugged her, kissed her.
SF: Did you need.... Have a seat over there.
Chris: Well I'm waiting for the phone to ring from Victim Witness so I will stay close to the door.
HF: Anyway I got out of the van and said goodbye to the Wife and got the pack and started walking. Walked down the highway but off to the edge there..
SF: You got your backpack?
HF: Got my backpack with me.
HF: Same one that was out there and there is a place where part of the Trail comes across 16 I think they call it. Trail 16. Was a trail head marker there, probably about 2.5 - 3 miles from the Tonto National Bridge turn off there.
SF: Okay, so Trail 16, is that where you got out or you took Trail 16?
HF: I left the Hwy at that point and started on the Trail. I walked it until I got to the Pine Trailhead, which is where the Highline Trail and a bunch of others, kind of intersect.
SF: I don't know those trails.
HF: Yeah, there is a big parking lot and you go up and its #31 and there is two or three depending how you walk a hundred yards and one breaks off this way and that way. And I took 26, which goes along, kind of parallels above pine creek, pine valley, whatever they call that thing and just goes on up towards the rim. I got up back in there and it goes, it comes down behind a girl's camp, Camp
[name of girls camp removed]. It crosses Pine Creek and it drops down. It's really pretty. I didn't think much of the country until I got back in there. But that's really nice country. They have bracken ferns out at it was all green. It was really nice and then going through...
SF: They are already green this time of year?
HF: Oh yeah. It was really pretty.
SF: We're in a dry spell. So I am learning here as we go along.
HF: I'm used to seeing Pine Creek when you cross the highway, outside the pine and its dry. It was flowing and nice, it was really very lovely experience. So I started going up and climbing and then you have to ... it goes for several miles, just kind of meandering along the creek. Eventually you get up close to the rim and the trail starts doing switchbacks and you get up on top of the rim. It was a very nice trail. I was surprised, I had never been through that country before. I didn't really know what to expect as far as trail conditions. It was really in good shape. A couple of places where trees had fallen over recently, but basically it's a lot bigger and nicer trail than I thought. So by that time it was... I got to the base of the switch backs, I think it was about six, I think, 5:30, 5:45 right around in there, started up.
SF: Hold on, got to switchbacks.
HF: Yeah coming out of Pine Creek, where you start coming up, climbing up, to get up on top of the rim.
SF: Out of Pine Creek. I don't know about switchbacks over there. Kind of like Oak Creek Canyon's the switchbacks I know of. Okay, so you've got your switchbacks out of Pine Creek.
HF: About 5:45, right around there. Started coming up, I was surprised again how nice the trail was and I remember there was a sign right before the switchbacks that said it was 2 miles to Hwy 87, so I thought well its going to take about an hour and a half, 2 hours. So at 6:30 I was up on top. The trail very quickly ran into a road, what appeared to be a road. I couldn't see any signs or anything like that but it was for vehicular traffic instead of foot traffic. I knew that I basically had to keep going to the West. A couple other roads would come in.
SF: Do you have a GPS?
HF: I didn't bring it. I do, I have one at home, but I didn't bring it.
HF: I knew from the lay of the land that I couldn't miss Hwy 87.
SF: You had never been on these switchbacks and up.
HF: Never had, but I knew if I kept going West, because Hwy 87 kind of parallels there. It was just a matter of where I was going to come out. I didn't exactly know where that would be. But I knew, I was more worried about the time of day. My nightmare was if I had gotten lost or off the trail or had to spend excess amount of time coming up that I might be doing it at night in the dark. I did have a little mini mag light but I didn't want to have to find trails at night because some times when they cross creeks and its night, it can get kind of hard to find the trail.
HF: So I was pushing trying to make it up in good time without killing myself and it went really well. So I was really happy when I topped out. You know 6:30, I'm really happy. My world goes to heck in a hand basket right after that. But I am really, I figure the hard part is over with all I have to do is keep bearing to the left and find 87 and depending on where I would come out, I knew I would have to turn towards Clint's Well and I might have to walk a mile or two or whatever, but just follow along the road and then I would hit 300 and then go in and get my van and I'd drive on home. Go right back down to that T where 260 comes in, take the General Crook Trail and come on back. So I was thinking I would be home by 7:30, 8:00 easy, without any problem. With time to stop off at Camp Verde and have something to eat. So I come walking up and I again I got happy again because the trail was kind of steep there for the road. You know it got kind of steep coming up but I'm looking up ahead and I see this White car. You know so I'm thinking well I've got to be real close to something, because I am running into campers now. Because I wasn't really sure how far I would have to go before I got to 87. You know a mile, 2 or 3, I didn't know exactly how far it was. I could have probably pulled my map out and figured it out, but you know I was kind of I got to get there and who cares you know whether its one or two or
three miles. I had plenty of daylight and that was what I was worried about and a road. So not a problem. So I am just chugging along and I see this white car and somebody camping there. I can see camping stuff you know around the vehicle. So, again, I'm very happy, because I am thinking you know, home and out of here. As I come walking up and I am walking up hill, into this camp, I don't know if this guy was asleep you know, or what he was doing or whatever. You know I am just casually looking around. In fact at first, now that I think about it, I thought the car was empty and somebody had just gone off hiking or something I didn't see anybody at first because I am coming up hill. So I see the top of the car but I can't see the bottom. I didn't notice anybody in the driver's window or anything like that you know, so I am thinking well somebody's just parked their car like I did. They are off hiking. So I am walking up the hill, you know, and around the front of the car, you know, all of a sudden this guy sits, I think he sat up, either sat up or all of a sudden he popped up let's put it that way. All of a sudden there is somebody coming up and I noticed two dogs. A yellowish orangey, medium sized dog. And my first impression is you know, camper not a problem. I have seen a lot of dogs and a lot of campers and usually you just stay on the road and you wave and go on by and that's all that it comes to. So I start to wave and you know and how you doing, I am okay, kind of thing, you know. Just let him know I am there because I can see the guy was just...
SF: And he is looking at you?
HF: Yeah he is looking in my direction.
SF: And you wave.
HF: And I wave and the next thing I know here come the two dogs, but they are not wagging their tails. Not that kind of come on.
SF: Okay, now let me back you up just a little bit. When you first see him, I see where he is. What is your distance, what are you guesstimating?
HF: Oh, by the time I realized, because I saw the car before I saw him and the dogs. But let me guess, maybe 30 yards, max. Couldn't have been much more than that.
SF: First you would say it was about 30 yards. Okay.
HF: I'm guessing, maybe 20. 20 or 30 yards. Because again with the pitch of the road kind of up, you know I can't see that ground, he is on the ground kind of thing and I don't see that part until...
SF: But you think he is sat down or laid down?
HF: Something yeah, because all of a sudden you know, up he comes. I assumed he was just taking a nap and that's fine. I just waved you know, and here come the dogs and they're coming right at me, but they're not, you know you can tell when a dog. If they're coming to say hi then they usually bounce a little bit and they're wagging their tails and they are, these guys just straight like bullets. Coming right at me. Growling and snarling. I really don't know, I'm not going to say that he sicked them on me, I don't know, maybe he did, maybe he didn't, maybe they got away from him. I don't know.
SF: Did you hear any noise before the dogs came?
HF: I had the transistor radio thing in my ear. You guys got it. I had a little radio. A little transistor radio with a head piece?
SF: Well actually I saw that yeah.
HF: So I am walking along.
SF: Is it on?
HF: It was, because I am listening to the radio program. So I'm in lahlah land. I am not expecting any trouble. I'm happy, I'm almost out.
SF: What do you call that radio head piece?
HF: Yeah ear piece, it wasn't both ears, it was just the one. So I've got the radio on and I'm just walking up and here come these dogs.
SF: What radio station you listen to?
HF: I was listening to 550 KFYI in Phoenix. I was listening, there was a really interesting program.
SF: 550, that's an am?
HF: I guess, I didn't see it but I guess they had a guy beheaded.
SF: Over in Iraq
SF: I heard about that
HF: And they had been talking about that all day long, so I guess they taped it and they showed the guys
SF: I actually heard that
HF: Yeah, so they were, you know it was interesting, I was trying to get all their...
SF: I'm surprised you were getting radio transmission down there.
HF: Well I hadn't been for a while see, so I was heading back and listening to a talk show, listening to the radio. Hey, hike is over, hard part is done, you know I am out kind of thing. So I am cruising along and again here come these dogs. You know, I'm going wait a minute and I know you asked me about that stick you know and I always carried that stick in my right hand. My walking stick, because I am right handed. The only thing I can think of is that I probably in order to draw the gun, I must have just dropped the stick right there.
SF: But you always carry it in your right hand?
HF: Unless there is some reason why not to, because I am right handed that is my stronger hand. So I would have had that in my right hand I think. I remember waving like this you know and I am just walking along, how you doing, walking along with my stick and here come these dogs. I wish I could do it over again I ... I don't know, it's just eating me up, I'm sitting here all since this happened, I have been thinking you know well what if I this, or what if I that, or what if he this. You know. Why that? I'm going, it happened so fast that I'm thinking man if I could just have slowed it down or I don't think from the time I saw those dogs to the time I shot that man I don't think it was 3 seconds.
SF: You got to understand how fast a dog can run.
HF: Well yeah. So I must have dropped the stick. I couldn't have set it down you know. And I reached over because I had my little pack, it's a waist strap thing and my gun was over here on this side and so I reached over...
SF: Okay when you say over on this side, you are reaching with your right hand?
Yeah I would have reached over because I am right handed.
SF: The hand over facing that way for that kind of draw?
HF: I would have taken my right hand over my left side to get the gun
SF: And so the holster and the gun is on the pack?
SF: On the lower part of the pack?
HF: Yeah, it was a waist band thing, goes across there, the belt.
SF: Okay, hold on a second, I really, I'm going to grab me some coffee, right quick. Can I get you some water.
HF: No I am fine. You helped me out a whole lot.
SF: Chris do you want anything?
Chris: Is there any coffee made?
SF: No I will make some.
Chris: I tell you I am getting hungry.
HF: I am tired. I am tired.
Chris: These things just take so long. But it seems cut and dry.
HF: It was cold out there too.
Chris: It was, the wind just came out of nowhere. It got really cold.
HF: That's why I sat in the car. I had a long-sleeved shirt, but it was in the pack.
SF: Nectar of the Gods. Okay so what I was asking you is the pack is on your back. The gun in holster is in your pack. So this is happening, you drop the stick, because at this time you are seeing, I am trying to visualize it and here is where I am going. The thought mode. Obviously those dogs are coming at you, the sticks dropping, the distance is closing. How far do you think the dogs were when you were drawing?
HF: The one I didn't shoot, I shot in front of, but from here to the wall. Maybe five yards. I am not that fast on the draw.
SF: You said 5 yards?
HF: I guess, yeah
SF: That right there is probably 7 feet at most
HF: Okay, well, about that. I shot in front of the Iead dog.
SF: Which one was the lead. One was solid yellow and
HF: That would have been him. I thought he was a Chow at first. I was talking to one of the paramedics and I just remember seeing ears you know and teeth. I am going good grief and the other one was right to his side maybe a half step back.
SF: Okay, there is one that is brownish black and one is solid yellow. The solid yellow had a red kind of harness.
HF: I don't remember seeing that.
SF: Understood, do you recall which dog was closest to you.
HF: No I just know the one that was closest to me was the one I shot in front of. You know that's where I was looking.
SF: Which one, the brownish black?
HF: It was the one to the right and I can't remember.
SF: Fair enough.
HF: Orange brown is what I remember.
HF: And the one I thought would get me first, you know I shot right in front of him.
HF: Just dumped one right in the dirt
SF: You're yelling
HF: Yeah, I'm yelling stop, get out of here, go away. You know kind of thing. Whatever you yell at dogs, stop. I remember yelling at the guy too you know, get your dogs back, stop your dogs. Something like that and he is saying, doing something whatever. He is not my prime interest at this point, it's the dang dogs. I am kind of catching him in my peripheral vision. He is out there, but I am not focused on him, I am focused on the dogs. I think I am about to get clobbered here. I have seen dogs where they run up and they stop, they kind of look at you, but these guys didn't do that. You know they were coming right to me and then real fast with their teeth.
SF: You made a statement and I am going to get analytical on you. I am going to hear you say, something to the effect that you can tell when a dog is running up to you or running at you. What were you telling me?
HF: I think what I am getting at is, everybody has had dogs run up and wanted to get patted and played with. When they are just running up to see you because they are happy to see you, it may be coming quick, but they are wagging their tail you know, and they kind of bounce a little bit and these guys weren't doing that. I mean there was barking and snarling and nastiness. No tails wagging kind of stuff.
SF: Okay and when they are barking they are literally barking at you?
HF: I guess.
SF: Both dogs barking?
SF: Okay, did you feel that the dogs were barking in a meaner manner or alert my master manner?
HF: No my take was they were coming to bite me or I don't know maybe they would have stopped right a foot away. But they didn't look like that to me.
SF: That's an unknown.
HF: That's an unknown. And I didn't want to shoot the dogs, if I wanted to shoot the dogs I would have.
HF: I didn't do that and I didn't do it on purpose. I dumped one in front of the dogs thinking they don't understand what a gun is.
HF: I knew he did, but a dog doesn't probably unless they are police dogs. I figured the noise and the dirt hitting in front of them that would do it. It did to a certain extent. They stopped coming right at me, but they split and they go like this.
SF: One is on both side of you?
HF: Yeah they are over here
SF: They didn't run off?
HF: No not at first
HF: They were running over, there, they were kind of milling around and I look up and here he comes. And this guy by now he has covered probably half the distance from where I saw him over by the car to me.
SF: Okay let me back you up. When he is at the car, you see the dogs coming, did you relate that he is saying something to you? You're yelling something to the effect "stop the dogs". I can't put words in your mouth. As you said a while ago, he's yelling something at you?
SF: What are you hearing?
HF: Well I don't know until he is right there and then I've been trying to think exactly what were the guy's words.
SF: Okay now when he is yelling at you are the dogs barking?
HF: Oh I don't know, by that time I have kind of forgotten the dogs because now this guy has got my attention. I know the dogs are down here, you know, but there kind of like marking their time I guess. Maybe they were aware he was coming too and waiting till he.. the Master got there and told them what to do. I don't know.
SF: Okay, We are going to relive this. Bare with me. You see him at the car, dogs are coming at you, you fire a shot, the dogs spread, if I say something is not accurate please let me know. Your next visual is looking up and seeing him half way. A distance that is half way between. Now you and the car ...
HF: I remember when I shoot at the first dog there, I still have the gun there. I didn't take the gun and put it back in the holster.
HF: So now the dogs are here and I have the gun here.
SF: Okay, you are pointing the gun still in the general direction of where you fired it into the ground?
SF: When you fired it into the ground how far away from your feet do you believe you are?
HF: It was probably five feet away or so.
HF: Right there, I mean those dogs were just there in a heart beat
SF: Okay I am trying to get this visual, and from there say five or so feet away from you and how far in front of the lead dog?
HF: Oh, a good foot and a half
SF: Foot and a half. Okay
HF: The dog is not in any danger, I was not shooting at the dog. I was trying to shoot between me and the dog.
SF: Understood. I am with you there. Had he yelled at you prior to you firing the round?
HF: I don't know
SF: You don't know?
HF: Okay I am focused on the dogs
HF: At this point I am pretty scared because I am out in the middle of nowhere. I'm not expecting..
SF: You have come from tranquility to the "oh shit" factor
HF: Real fast, like why is this happening to me, you know. I'm yelling at him get your dogs back. In my mind I am thinking the worst that is going to happen is I might actually have to shoot one of the dogs. But I don't want to shoot the dogs.
HF: So I am trying to-back out of this thing. I'm going how the heck it has got to this point you know. Anyway I look up and here comes this guy and he is yelling at me and he's got this look in his eyes and the hands. I swear he's got I don't know if he's got fists. I remember those hands going and this guys coming.
SF: Now when you say hands going,
SF: You're motioning that they are going almost like that.
HF: I don't know if its because he was running
SF: Running motion?
HF: I don't know, but he is coming to hurt me, I am trying to remember exactly what he said, you know whether he said I am going to kill you or I am going to .. he said something I can't remember what it is. It's something I am not used to. I wouldn't say it that way.
SF: I want you to really think about that
HF: I have been thinking, you know, but the whatever it was that he said I mean it scared the crap out of me because I thought Oh man, this guy isn't just going to come up and call me names. This guy again he's in full stride. This guy is running as fast as I think he could do it. Nov maybe the fact that it is down hill helped you know, maybe he is running faster than he wanted to, because of the down hill thing, I don't know. But he is coming Iike a freight train and he's got this look in his eyes. And in the back of my mind I am thinking oh he thinks I hurt his dogs you know? And I said something to him you know like stop you know back off you know I didn't hurt your dogs, your dogs okay. And he said something you know and I can't remember exactly what it is. Its like you know well you aren't going to be when I get through with you. That kind of stuff or whatever. And I think Good Gosh what's he gonna do? The fight immediately comes to my mind, first of all the guy is going to beat on me, second he could take my gun away and shoot me with it or beat me with it and all the time this was going on the dogs are going to be chewing on me because you gotta know if the Master or human being is beating on somebody the dogs are gonna jump right in too. So I have this vision of me rolling on the ground, trying to fight with this guy you know, getting chewed. I'm going Good Gosh I can't in my mind I know that I can't go back down because it is down hill. I'd have to turn to run and I know what happens when you turn from a dog. I mean they get you right there. I mean our little girl, well she's not so little, our 12 year old about a month and a half a go got bit by a dog. A neighbor, a friend. She went over to the house, she and her brother to get a volleyball, they had gone into their yard. And the dog was having a bad day or something like that, the dog barked at her, she got scared, turned and ran and before the neighbor boy could do anything about it, the dog got through the door, got her and bit her. He just ripped a hole in her leg, you could see her Achilles tendon.
SF: This was about a month ago? This happened to your daughter?
HF: Yes eight stitches, emergency room
CHRIS: Victim Witness is here, do you want me to bring them up? They are down in the lobby right now I am going to go grab them.
SF: Okay, yeah but I need them to wait in my ... Have them wait down in patrol
SF: Tell them wait, get them some coffee or something. We don't need a whole bunch of people in here with you. You know what I am saying? Out of respect for you. So your daughter was bit by a dog one month ago and...
HF: About six weeks ago, trying to remember how long it has been. Not more than 2 months ago.
SF: 6 weeks, okay
HF: Take her down, yeah she got 8 stitches and they had to cut parts off you know. She has a scar today. Its healing up but it's a pretty nasty scar she is going to carry the rest of her life and we made a big deal out of trying to get her and her little 8 year old brother to realize you don't run from dogs. You can't out run them. And if you turned your back to them, they're going to hamstring you. They will get your legs, they will bring you down. I told her my own words come back to me, the worst thing that can happen is if it's a bunch of dogs, two or more dogs. Because one will knock you down and the other will jump on and its real hard to fight off a pack of dogs because they work it together. So all of this is in the back of my mind. I see these dogs coming, I can't turn and run, he's going to get me because he's coming faster. He is already at a full run and this guy I swear had a crazy bad look in his eyes.
SF: Okay you talk about a look in his eyes, and he saying something to you. You do not recall what he is saying to you. Let's talk about the tone of his voice. You tell me what you are hearing.
JIF: Like I say to me, my first impression was this guy thought I was hurting his dogs and he loved his dogs more than.. he was going to hurt me I guess. I remember telling him I didn't hurt your dogs, I didn't shoot your dog. Your dogs okay. Something like that. And then he comes right back with this thing, well you are not going to be when I get a hold of you. Or something
like that. Its that kind of thing, he jumped on to what I had said and through it back at me. He was going to hurt me worst than I had hurt the dog even if I hadn't hurt the dog.
SF: You said dogs are okay, or dog is okay
HF: Oh, I can't remember. This guy is about my size maybe a little bigger, but he has a lot more muscle and he is full speed and bearing right on down. There in a split second I am thinking what the heck have I done. My choices are to take my chances with him and the dogs or use the gun and defend myself. It was a lousy choice. You know you go "oh shoot" I can't win. I don't want to shoot this guy. I don't want to hurt him. I don't want to get chewed on. I don't want him to beat on me and take my gun away, shoot me with it, beat me with it. And in a split second ham, ham, ham. I'm thinking as I am shooting, what a lousy set of choices to be given. I don't want to get hurt. I don't want to get chewed on out there in the middle of no where, where its' him and his dogs. I know the highway is over there somewhere, but I am not there and nobody is going to save me out here. Its me. All this happened and a thousand and one thoughts going through your head. Just wishing oh how can I get the heck out of here. If there was a place to jump off of I swear I'd jump off of it. Something to climb up on if I had had time to get up a tree. I was sitting in that car thinking what could I have done. What was he thinking? Why didn't he back off? Why didn't he just stop and call me all kinds of names, you know that's fine. I might call him a name or two back or we might end up being best buddies. He came in to hurt me bad, I really feel that. What bad would have been I don't know. Busted teeth, broken neck. I don't know. I have not personally ever seen that kind of look in a guy's face. I swear his eyes if they didn't cross. There was just a feeling coming out there that he was just going to light into me and hurt me bad. I know as we are sitting here today I would have been in the hospital.
SF: Did you fear for your life?
HF: Absolutely. If not my life, my bones and I thought there is nobody around here to help me. I didn't see anybody, there was no other cars, and then after all this is over, it took me for ever to get help.
HF: I mean there was nobody. I fired shots; you would think somebody would come over. There was nobody there. Of course it was a Tuesday, it wasn't a weekend.
HF: I guess there were people out and around but while I was sitting there waiting for the ambulance and police officers to arrive, the guy that had the..I guess he was a Forest Service guy, he called it in, he and his Wife...somebody was out there shooting. You know after about maybe 20 minutes of sitting there waiting we started hearing shots. I don't know if they shoot that much out in that area. I have never been through there before, maybe target practice is a regular thing. I don't know. I never saw anybody near by. He didn't have anybody else, it was about 3 seconds it was him and me and the dogs. And I was going to lose. I was going to get hurt.
SF: You had a 3 on 1 scenario looking in the face is what it sounds like.
HF: You know if I could have taken my pack off and thrown it at him I would have, I would have done anything, but that guy coming down hill fast like that. I remember telling him there okay. He said something like well you are not going to be when I get through with you.
SF: Okay let's talk a little bit about obviously he is running hard at you, he's coming down, your first visual of him after you fire the round in front of the dogs, you look up he is half way, he's ... I am paraphrasing what you are saying... he's at full stride towards you in a running motion, his hands more in an upward motion or in medium motion?
HF: Yes, my impression was he's like throwing punches. I was too far for him to hit at that point, so I don't know maybe it was because he was running or whatever but that's what I saw. He's coming to grab and hit.
SF: Okay, do you recall a tree to your left?
SF: Okay where were you standing?
HF: To the right of the tree. See I was in the road, the tree is right like at the edge of the road and I am in the middle of the road.
SF: Are you below or above the tree?
HF: That one I don't know, I must have cleared the tree, I must have been a little bit in front or something. I wouldn't have seen him there. If he's over here and the trees here, I would have to have come around, I guess walking passed the tree. I really don't know. I really can't tell you exactly where I was regarding the tree. I know that there was a tree there because I remember I couldn't go
there: The dogs are coming, he is coming, I got bushes off to the right. I'm not sure what is over there. There is a tree thing there, all this in the back of my mind, the dog is right here. It's all down hill.
SF: I can see where you approximately dropped your stick. It is somewhat above the tree, looking up at the car, it is a definite slope down towards you and I can see where the slope was a high degree. I want to walk back through it to the point of when the rounds, when you fired your first round at him, just ...
HF: It wouldn't stop, it was just I mean he was right there, in fact I am not sure how close he was at that point, but my best guess is me to you.
SF: There's five feet between you and I approximately.
HF: Because I remember thinking how can I get away, I don't want to shoot this guy. I do not want to shoot this guy. He is going to hurt me. When we are having this running conversation thing and he is assuring me that he is going to hurt me bad. I didn't even see the sights on the gun. I don't even remember seeing the sights, I just remember sticking the gun up and I shot, I am not sure if I remember if it was three times. The reason I guess I didn't shoot four or five because he was right there and then he took off to the side.
SF: Are they okay down there?
CHRIS: Well if you could get everybody's permission to tell them. They did ask do you have any cash?
HF: Well I do
CHRIS: Do you have means?
SF: We have his wallet
HF: They've got all my stuff
CHRIS: Yeah I noticed the change, I have your stuff
HF: If you have my wallet I am okay
CHRIS: You have cash? We will get it back to you it's just they are asking for tomorrow and that kind of thing. They are going to explain all the stuff that they can do for you.
SF: Right now I am in an interview and I am not going to interrupt it.
CHRIS: Okay they are asking for names and dates of birth and stuff like that.
SF: Okay here is
CHRIS: Yeah I told them they are going to stay down there until we conclude
SF: Here is Harold's information
CHRIS: Okay, nothing on the other gentleman yet?
SF: We haven't positively identified him
SF: We have a pretty good idea of who he is, but he didn't have identification on him and so until then we are not going to give a name out, that's how that works. But anyway, lets go back, you say he is close when that first round went off you are saying he is within?
HF: Like I said from here to the wall. My impression is maybe it's because he is coming at me from up hill or whatever. If I wanted to shoot the guy, I would have shot him at the car.
HF: You know, I don't want to shoot this guy and I don't have any choice left and there's no distance, I have been yelling.
SF: When you say from me to you, approximately five feet, you are saying from here to the wall, now were talking 8 feet maybe.
HF: You know I am just going by...
HF: Its so fast, I am sure I not precise but I have given you my impression
HF: But I assure you, I did not shoot him way back at the car or even close to that car, the guy is right there
SF: Right, now when you shot in your words, if I go bam, bam, barn or
bbbam, you tell me how you felt, how quick the rounds came out.
HF: Real fast
SF: As fast as you could pull the trigger
HF: I guess because I don't really remember pulling the trigger
HF: I remember the gun coming up and that sinking feeling like dang, I don't have a choice. I didn't consciously decide to shoot once or shoot twice or to shoot three times.
SF: When you are standing there shooting, do you feel yourself backing up? You say yes?
HF: Whether I did or not, I don't know, but in my mind I'm trying to slide back and get off to the side and trying to move but its down hill.
HF: I'm scared to death because I can't turn and run. If I turn and run the dogs are going to get me. He's going to get me anyhow. Because he is at full speed, I am sure I probably slid a bit, I hope I did. I don't know, a crappy thing.
HF: Really so fast, so fast, crazy
SF: When he is hit or when you are firing and you are not sure you think you are backing up your not sure and that's okay, what is happening with him, what is he at that point doing?
HF: He stumbles
SF: He stumbles?
HF: He stumbles is my impression. He kind of stumbles and slides down to the side there. He didn't go head first, he just kind of like you were sliding into a base maybe. I guess, I don't know, I am guessing that the rounds hit him up here because I don't remember seeing anything hit. The feet kind of stumble and he is kind of maybe the force of him because he had to have been somewhat off balance running like that. I don't remember seeing anything hit him, in fact, if you had asked me afterwards, if he had gone on by, did you hit him I wouldn't have been able to tell you.
HF: I remember for some reason shooting three times and the gun was pointed at his middle at his chest. This was I don't know what you call it, point blank or point center of mass. His chest high kind of stuff.
SF: So he slides down, almost like sliding into a base are you hearing anything from him?
HF: We got down I am swearing at this dang
SF: Are you saying dang?
HF: I am saying damn
SF: Tell me exactly what you said
HF: My life has just gone in the crapper, his is in the crapper, you know I have had to shoot somebody which I have never done, I have never pointed a gun at anybody before. Why did you do this? Gosh. And that for a few seconds and then I thought I have to do what I can to help this guy, so I took my pack, he was on his side.
SF: Was he able to say anything to you?
HF: No he never said a word, he made a few noises, but he didn't really move much, just maybe a little shifting but he didn't try to get up or anything like . that, he was pretty much just immobile, just slightly shifting maybe. Of course he was on a down hill slope too, so he could have slid a little bit there. So I get my pack, I take my pack off and slide it underneath his head, because he was on his shoulder and his head was kind of listing down like that. So I knew that couldn't be comfortable, so I put my pack underneath his head, to get it kind of ... and I remember I had a space blanket thing in my pack, I didn't have a sleeping bag, because I wasn't planning on spending the night out. Space blanket was just an emergency thing, so I got that out. Covered him up with the reflective side in. He looked dead to me, his eye was kind of half open, half closed, I didn't touch him. I kind of wanted to, but I kind of didn't. I am feeling really crappy at this point.
HF: I made him as comfortable as I could, I'm grabbing my cell phone, I'm talking to him, saying I will get some help, and this and that. No signal on the cell phone. So I go up to the highest point I can see on the hill. Try again. No signal. So Igo back to him and we are back and forth a couple of times. To check on him. He doesn't look like he is alive and I am going "oh shoot" I am stomping around. The dogs.. I noticed the dogs after he drops. I don't see both of them but I see one of them go back and get in the car.
SF: Was the door open?
HF: Yeah, I don't know what the deal is with the car, whether it had a broken door.
SF: Which door?
HF: The passenger side door, I see the one dog get in there, so I go back over you know,
SF: You were calling which dog?
HF: I just saw one. Later on they told me both of them were back in. I thought well I will shut the door that will keep the dog inside. I couldn't get the door shut. I stayed between, with the door between me and the dog in case the dog wanted to bite me again.
SF: You went up and shut the door?
HF: Tried to shut the door, but it's got something goofy about it, it wouldn't shut. I could get it closed about maybe six to eight inches. The dog didn't look like he wanted to bite me anymore, the dogs all of sudden were very peaceful. And the dog didn't want to get out and he didn't show any signs of coming out after me. So I thought okay fine. I am going to go get help.
SF: So you see before you go the first time up the dog go and get in the car.
SF: And what is your intent to go up to the car?
HF: I just wanted to keep the dog in there, so the dog didn't get out -and attack me again. Because I didn't know why, I assumed the dog went back in for a reason because it was home or safe or whatever, but I don't want the dog or dogs to come back and get me without knowing. I didn't see the second dog and I assumed the second dog had run off. I told the paramedics when they came back"or when they got there that I thought the second dog might have been a stray or just ran off. But they went up and shined in there and I guess the windows in the back were tinted or dark and I didn't want to go back because I was afraid the dog was going to bite me. They said both dogs were in the vehicle. All I wanted to do was shut the door to keep the animal inside and keep me safe. So I still had my cell phone and I have gone up as high as I can go. I've gone back and I have checked and he doesn't look good at all. About that time I am up at the top and I hear a car go by at highway speeds. So I go 87 is just over there. I didn't know how far it was but it's just over there. So I go over to 87.
SF: Okay let me ask you this, do you still have your 10 mm correct?
SF: Do you still have that with you?
SF: Okay, is the holster on the backpack?
SF: Do you have it in your hand?
SF: Tucked it in your belt. Okay.
HF: Because I didn't have the holster fixed to the belt strap.
HF: I had holstered it, I take off for maybe 100 yards to 87. Go up to 87 and I think okay now maybe I can get a signal through, try and call the cell phone for the 3rd time, still nothing, still getting no call. I realize I am going to have to stop the first car that comes by I've got to stop and get some help. So I am hoping the guy is still alive, even though he doesn't look like he is in good shape to me, I am not a paramedic, I don't know I have got to get the guy help. So a few minutes go by and finally this white car comes down the road and I just stepped out into the middle of the road you know holding up my hands and everything. It was this nice Forest Service guy who had On Star in his vehicle. Because his cell phone doesn't work either. So two of us had tried cell phones and it didn't work. But he gets the On Star guy and it almost doesn't work. It's kind of scratchy and lots of static but then we start this process that seems to take forever. I don't know if the guy was still alive I mean it took forever to get the paramedics there. It probably took an hour. I am guessing 45 minutes to an hour, we stood there. I have never heard such confusing conversation. I thought these On Star guys were a little sharper, but man, he kept trying to tell him, where he was located and they were supposed to have this and he and his Wife were all getting frustrated because we kept saying no its this way. So anyway finally the paramedics show up and it's actually by that time I think its dark. Or nearly dark.
SF: When the paramedics or when the car comes by?
HF: The paramedics. So they get there and I take them in and the guy on the On Star or the police officer, there were two or three people talking. I couldn't
really hear all of it because I was standing outside the vehicle and it was hard for me to hear everything, The On Star or the people were saying and I went ahead and I knew that when they had to explain to the guys that I was the shooter and this and that. I didn't want to give him a lot of details because I didn't want to say anything until the cops got there. So I just told them there had been a shooting. The guy on the radio asked well is the shooter there and I said yeah it's me. Where's the gun and I had unloaded the gun. I had already done that but I had not removed the magazine. So while the On Star driver, the fire guy and his Wife are there, I took the magazine out, put it in my pocket and locked the slide back.
SF: Okay when you locked the slide back, the round that is in the barrel did you put that in the magazine?
HF: Yeah, well I had done that before hand.
SF: Okay at what point?
HF: When I left there and went out to the road. When I realized I was going to have to try and stop somebody on the road. I thought well I better unload this gun. I thought police would be there first and I thought they are going to be really nervous when they come if they know that I am the shooter and I still have a gun. I didn't see what I could do with the gun, I didn't want to ... I had already been back and forth a couple of times, so I thought well I will just keep it here and when they get here... that's why I locked the slide, I figured I could hold up the magazine, hold up the gun with the slide locked back so nobody could shoot me. You know there were people shooting out in the woods there, so I thought with my luck the way it's running today the police officer will arrive get out of the vehicle and bam there will be a shot off and he'll think I am shooting a round off.
SF: Let me share this with you, maybe future purposes, lay it down and say it's over there.
SF: That way they are watching your hands. Because if they see a weapon in your hands there could be issues.
HF: Well when the paramedics got there they finally realized that I was the shooter and I could see they were a little nervous and they asked me and I handed them the gun.
SF: Was it still tucked in your belt?
HF: Yeah, I kept it on my person with the slide locked.
HF: And then we just kind of waited and waited and waited. You guys got there and all that. You know the rest.
SF: Okay, I want to write down a couple more notes and then I have a couple of questions for you. Again I will try and keep this brief but I mean this is definitely what you are going through at this point and you feel this is 3 seconds. This is happening fast.
HF: Oh it was real fast. Those dogs and that guy, I don't know how long it took him to get into gear, but it was such a close distance and he was on top of me. I am sure he was worried about his dogs but dang it, I didn't shoot his dogs, if I had shot his dogs, I would have fallen over dead or something. I yelled at the guy I didn't shoot his dog. Maybe he didn't hear me, he didn't look right. He had this look, I don't know how to explain it, just a weird look. But I am just certain as we are sitting here today, if he had gotten a hold of me he was going to do some serious damage. He was going to do all he could to hurt me bad.
HF: If it was just the dogs that set him off or I wish I had gone the other way.
SF: You went up to the top of the hill or did you go up to the highway and then no one comes you go back down to him and you looked at him again, you did this what?
HF: I went back a couple, three times
SF: Two or three?
HF: Yeah, once they were there, once the Fire Service guy was there, and we had been there for a while, I thought I had go check on, we had gotten the call through and they said the ambulance was on its way and would be there in a few minutes. So I thought well I better go back and wait there. If you remember a couple of roads that kind of came in there and I went back there and I took a big junk of wood and blocked off the road passed there so nobody would go down it and I went back to where he was.
SF: Now why did you block off the road where no one would go down? To where he was?
HF: No, so that, okay how could I say that. The first road comes through and went like this.
SF: To the right?
HF: And then the road he was on was over here and I put it over here to kind of block off so that the Fire and the Ambulance wouldn't just keep on going down the road. I wanted them to turn where the wood was and go down that little road where the man was. Because again because of the curve, the drop, I wasn't sure they would see the little car and me down there. And I got a good look at him and he hadn't moved and he had his eye half open and I thought he's dead, there is no doubt about it. By that time it was quite a bit of time gone by so I didn't want to stay there, so I went back and stayed with the Fire Fighter until the ambulance got there.
SF: Okay, he was a Forest Service guy you flagged down?
HF: Right, last name was Derringer I think he said, something like that. The first Law Enforcement guy that was with the Forest Service knew him. He worked with him before.
HF: I didn't know he was a Forest Service individual, but the guy that handcuffed me and took my stuff and the first Law Enforcement guy there knew him, so he knows who the man and his wife is.
SF: And was it Derringer that handcuffed you?
HF: No it was the fellow with the moustache, pot belly, kind of Forest Service Law Enforcement guy
HF: I am not sure he told me his name
SF: They will do that for their safety. It's a standard procedure.
HF: My hands got cold and I couldn't put them in my pockets.
SF: Okay, can I get you some coffee or something?
HF: No, I just need to go to bed.
SF: Understood, I won't be going to bed, maybe tonight. What all do you have in your backpack?
HF: Well, there is a 3 liter bottle that probably has less than a liter of water in it. That is in the bottom compartment, a big knife in case I had to spend the night out, or make shelter, had the blue tarp or space blanket. There is a snake bit kit, extractors, first aid kit mostly for blisters and what else. A couple pieces of candy for snacks. Matches, gold colored matchbox, spare cell phone battery, some extra ammunition, two magazines of ammunition in a military pouch thing. I did have the radio which I took out and was Iistening to.
SF: Did you pick up any brass?
HF: No, there is probably a few other things in there I am trying to think what, my shirt, had a wool shirt which is green and some garbage bags, an emergency tent.
SF: Wool shirt and what did you say after that?
HF: Trash bags, raincoat things
SF: Okay, just gives me an idea of what's in there
HF: Oh and two maps, a Forest Service map, Coconino Forest Service Map and some other maps I got off the mapping program off the computer.
SF: Okay, I need to take some extensive photos of your shoes. We have the trail shut off. Did you find any or did you get any blood on you or anything?
HF: I don't know, I don't think so.
SF: At no point, I mean the physical part, did he ever put his hands on you?
HF: I don't believe so
SF: Okay you had some questions when we were coming up. doing and you said oh I got some questions.
HF: Well nothing about the law enforcement thing, it's been just been sitting here going over and over in my mind.
SF: Would you grab my camera?
CHRIS: On your desk?
HF: I have been trying to think how I could have avoided shooting that guy and I haven't come up with an answer. I don't know, I guess it just came down to the fact that I was really convinced he was going to seriously hurt me, between him and the dogs. And the only thing I had between that and getting seriously hurt was that gun. The only second guess thing I could and every time I come up with those they don't work. The only thing I may have tried different is the stick. But if I had hit his dog with a stick, he still would have come sailing up to me. I would be back to the same thing. Except I wouldn't have had my gun out. It would have been in my holster. He wasn't going to talk, he wanted to hurt me. He wanted to hurt me bad.
SF: Did you ever hear him calling his dogs off of you?
HF: No and they certainly didn't stop, obviously they didn't hear it either
SF: Victim Witness still downstairs?
SF: Two of them?
CHRIS: You had a good response, he is set up at La Quinta
CHRIS: On Beulah, they asked us to take him, I told them no problem, they will give you some information and a room number.
SF: Did you tell them we will be down there shortly?
CHRIS: Yeah, I was just coming up to see if you guys needed anything else
SF: I will go down and chat with them. Batteries are a good thing.
HF: Do you want me to take these off?
SF: No, we will get you to follow us in your shoes. Go ahead. I am going to have you stand over there. This is very standard. What we do is take photos. You were wearing that hat when you were out there? Can you go ahead and turn side ways for me." Can you lift your arm up just a little bit. If you will turn
your back towards me please. Then face the wall. Face back this way. You don't have any kind of marks. You didn't fall or anything? Go ahead and hold out your hands, closer together like this. Let's get you some sleep.
HF: Can you tell me what's involved in tomorrow.
SF: Tomorrow, can you, I know your Wife has the kids, can you have her or a friend come up here? The clothes you have, it's very common, this is what we do, we take them, just bring you another set of shoes, socks, pants and a shirt. And the hat we will go ahead and take the hat. Were you wearing a jacket over that shirt?
HF: No this came from the car, he brought it
SF: Okay, to bring you up another set. Your car has broke down, I don't know we can get it fixed tomorrow. The ladies downstairs, I mean if they have three ladies showing up at 2:30 in the morning, you know its one of those, we have one of the best Victim Witness services that I have ever seen. They are great. Generally they send two, but three is a little different. So I don't know what that is about. We want you to have your transportation, get back home, in case your car is not fixed and two to take your clothing on that line.
HF: What time do you want to do this? Because I need to start my Wife about 3 hours before.
SF: I would like to have you back out there at about 10 o'clock and I am pretty sure we will have to provide you transportation or if your friends up here. Can you have someone up here by that time? If not have them meet us at that turn in, say at the entrance to 387. Do you have anybody that knows how to get there.
HF: My Wife does.
SF: Is there someone that can watch the kids?
HF: Well the kids will be in school
SF: So that would work wouldn't it
HF: Yeah pretty much, that'll work. Our daughter leaves at 8 but my Wife can go ahead and leave a little early and the daughter can lock herself out and take off and catch the bus and all that. If I call the Wife and call her about 6, I guess I better call her tonight. I hate to wake her up but I don't know if I will wake up at 6. But I can get her I think going and she can be up here by 10, 10:30. Its not-critical to have her there at 10 is it?
SF: No, what about if we said 11?
HF: That would be good
SF: Because I would like to take about an hour for you to walk me through from there and send you home.
HF: Sounds good.
SF: Obviously I am going to ask you to not wash your clothes or anything along that line and you'll get them back at some point.
HF: I am not worried
SF: Its just part of the investigation
HF: I didn't wear my best to go hiking, so that's not a problem. Okay then I will
have her meet us at that intersection, 387. Is that where you want it?
SF: Yeah I am trying to tell her what that intersection is where we are actually going to be parked. She wouldn't know that one.
HF: No she wont, but I can get her there.
SF: Does she know the 300, I don't want to get her lost, that's where I am coming from
HF: She'll know. I can get her there because there was a white, it will probably still be there, a white maintenance vehicle road thing. That road kind of has a turn off or something there. I can get her in there. I can give her directions. She will be able to get there, I will have her there at 11. And if she misses us I'll have her go to the 300.
SF: Okay, either way
HF: That should work
SF: Well I am going to go off the tape. It is approximately 2:45, it is exactly 2:45 in the morning. Off tape.
HAROLD FISH WALK THROUGH INTERVIEW
INTERVIEWER: DET. SCOTT FEAGAN
ON SCENE AT THE LOWER AREA LOOKING UPWARDS TOWARDS THE VEHICLE APPROXIMATELY 30 YARDS FURTHER DOWN THE HILL FROM LOCATION OF 901.
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SF: Have you seen the car?
SF: You're sure you have? Okay let's walk on down. Would it be safe to say somewhat at this point you had seen the vehicle?
HF: I don't know if I would have noticed it through the brush there. You have that Sheriffs vehicle off to the right so it's a little bigger there. You know I really wasn't when I am hiking generally I've got my ... and going up hill, I am generally looking at the trail. My head is down, I am not walking like this looking up because you could trip and fall so, I don't know exactly where but I am just walking along. I would have had my staff in the right hand and coming up and just kind of one foot in front of the other.
SF: Okay here is what I would like to do is just, I am going to butt out of it, from this standpoint and I want you to just walk your way up through it and let you kind of gather yourself as to what you are seeing along that line and at what point you waved at him and then start talking when you felt the dogs were coming and walk through that time frame. Can you do that for me?
HF: Yeah I'll try, if I can remember all this
SF: Just kind of, I am basically asking you to relive what happened. Okay, you going to be okay with that?
HF: I guess SF: Let's go
HF: Okay so I am walking, usually walking in the middle because if you get over there or over here, you got more rocks. (Inaudible) I'm not even sure if I would have noticed it was a car at this point. Just camping stuff, you know somebody camped, could be a trailer, could be who knows. I'm just not paying much attention. At this point I can see the vehicle now, but as you look right through here, you see I couldn't... if the guy is laying down there, you know, I wouldn't see him. Could you have Chris like lay down?
SF: Hey Chris would you lay down bud?
HF: Just go flat on your back. Yeah just lay down.
SF: He is in front of the car Chris
HF: Yeah over there, more between the tree and the bush. Angle up that way. Yeah, yeah. Just off the point there. Put your leg down. You see at this point if he is flat I still can't see him. I can't see anybody. At some point by now its not so steep and I'm looking more up and around. Not so much worried about slipping and falling down the trail. Okay, so I am getting up here and I suppose remember I've got my ear phone. My transistor radio thing in there, you know and I am just saying nobody is there, just a campsite, somebody off hiking or something like that and at some point, right probably about there, he sits up. Maybe a little closer.
SF: I am going to let you just walk through it at this point.
HF: It was right here I think. Let's when I first really saw, when the guy really sat up. Had to have been about right there. You know and then dogs coming here. And then he got up to his feet, I'm just aware of him, but I'm not thinking he is a threat. I'm not used to having people try to harm me. The dogs, yeah, they have my attention. Because I don't want to get bit. The dogs come up here and if I remember right it was like one was coming along on that side here and the other right along in here. So they were basically pacing each other kind of shoulder to shoulder, but they had to have been on this side of the tree and along here somewhere, but they kind of just basically straight right through there between the front corner of the car and those two, the bush and then those two trees here. I don't remember them going out here like this. Just coming straight down through here. And at that point somewhere just before when he sat up is when I must have just waved. I got my staff here in my hand and then the dogs come up and I guess I dropped my staff because I am right handed.
SF: Let me share this with you. Let me show exactly where your staff was laying. Right here at this dirt point, right here. Okay, so your staff was laying here. Now from that standpoint (inaudible) So let's walk on up here. You think at some point here you see there's blood there, but at some point here you just like...
HF: I don't know if I threw it. I can't remember because it has that strap on it. So I may have had to throw it to get it off. I just don't remember if I had the strap on. Sometimes I do, but sometimes I have my hand just on the knob if it gets easier walking. I was coming up so I don't know.
SF: Do you remember yourself pretty much right through here.
HF: Right in there because where he was sitting there I remember finally getting a good look at the guy because he sat up. I remember that caught my attention. He might have been visible to me down there, more down there, but until he moved I can't remember what color clothing he was wearing, whether it blended in or not, but until he moved I never noticed him. I was looking I guess just up here and around. I'm in lah lah land. I am happy. that the day is done. It has been a long hard day, I'm getting out of here. I can tell the 87 has got to be over there somewhere because the light blue and I am popping out and I know that I am not going to have to climb another trail on the other side here. So lose the staff, the pistol is over here in the waistband of my pack, so I get that out, by that time I am yelling now. I am yelling at him, "get your dogs back. Watch your dogs." I am yelling real loud. "Stop, get your dogs back." That kind of stuff. The dogs keep coming. I can't really tell. I can't remember if he was saying something to them or not but I am loud when I want to be loud. It comes from teaching school and I was loud. I am yelling at him to get the dogs off and stop. Either they were not responding to him or he wasn't saying. He could have been just coming out of a deep sleep I don't know. I try to put myself in his head. The one dog that was the most aggressive, gets to about right there and barn! Just about right there I dump a round right in the ground. He is maybe there where that one rock is and I shoot about a foot, foot and a half in front, just barn right there. And then I just remember at least one dog went this way, the other bails over here. I guess he probably went to this opening spot here. Maybe through here I don't know. Dogs splitting like this. I am not paying attention to the dogs so much you know, because I am thinking good gosh, I had to shoot and now he is making noise. And I look up and he is coming and see that bare spot in the needles there, he is about right there.
SF: Okay come on up.
CHRIS: Right here
HF: Yeah he is about right there when I see him. I have shot the dogs and somewhere over here I am thinking they are still right around me. I'm kind of worried about them coming behind and getting my ankles. But he is right there and he is running. It is quite a bit of down hill here, so he is accelerating. I am yelling at him, "I didn't shoot your dogs, I didn't hurt your dogs, something like that." Then he is saying something well I am going to hurt you and I can't remember exactly what he said, but the look in that guys eye, he was just going to come up and beat me into the ground and feed me to his dogs or whatever. He. doesn't say that, but that's the look. He's coming right at me, he is running as fast as I think a man can run. Just as fast as he can. I am talking to him the whole way, "Stop leave me alone" Right about in there, back up a little bit. I shot at the dog, in front of the dog
and had the gun here. This guy is running at me with that crazy look in his eyes with the fist pumping thing. He is doing this kind of stuff, I don't know if he has something in there, I didn't see anything, but he is about to eat me for lunch. Coming right down my throat and the gun here and it just goes off and bam, bam, bam! Then he kind of somewhere he is still moving the whole time. Its not like he stops and I get to shoot him, he is coming right at me. And then he breaks his stride somewhere about right in here his legs start doing funny stuff and then he is down here. Then I start using bad language. The dogs the one that went over here I didn't see, but the one that was over here just very meekly and mildly goes up there and jumps in the car.
Officer: Are you expecting anyone else?
HF: Yes my wife. In a Red Lumina, okay.
SF: You can go ahead and lift it up sir thank you. Okay we will go ahead and move up. I have asked you what kind of things did you recall which dog and understood.
HF: I think the big one was the one on the right, but they both looked big, orange and teeth. Coming so fast, course they were running down the hill too. So he's down and I am feeling real bad. He is moving a little bit but he is not saying anything and I am going what were you thinking.
Officer; Do you want me to park it or bring her up here or bring her down?
SF: Just keep her up there. We'll come up there where she is momentarily.
HF: I get the cell phone out. Had the cell phone. The only thing I could think of. I was shaking. Popped the antenna, no signal, I am watching him, he's not moving, not saying much. I am telling him I will go up here. Like he could hear. I moved up closer to the top and see if I could get through because from here there is a little more elevation and fewer trees. I thought maybe if I get up to the crown here maybe it will get it out, so I go up to the crown there, where the road is wherever up there. I try it again. Same result no cell phone.
SF: Let me clarify a statement. Something I asked you. Did he say anything. Make any statements. You just made the statement "he is not saying much." So I want to verify.
HF: There was a few noises but nothing I would call speech or anything. Sounds. So I go up there, ho result. So I thought what the heck do I do now and start coming back here and I noticed the dog in the car. Door is open and that one dog has run up and got in the car. So I think I better shut the door, he looks
peaceful now, but who knows. So I go up there, I kind of keep the... I do a walk around there, the dogs not doing anything, I just try to push the door shut.
SF: Did you walk around the front or the back?
HF: I came from the back and I get over to the front part and try to push the door shut and its jammed or busted or something like that it won't shut all the way.
SF: There is the problem
HF: So I shut it as much as I can shut it and the dog is as peaceful as can be. He is just sitting there and I am going good grief this is the one that was just chasing me. Nuts. I figured the other one has run off. Of course it turns out later the other one was in there too, I just couldn't see him. So I come back down here to check on this guy and he is not saying or doing anything. When he is down here he is on his side and his head is just like this and it looks pitiful. I take my pack and I slide it under his head and tell him what I am doing. Get into my pack, get that space blanket out, covering him with the space blanket. I can't make somebody comfortable on rocks but that's all I can think of to do and I think I have to go to the road and if I can't get a signal up there then I am going to have to stop somebody. So I go clear to the road, try the cell phone, third time, same thing. And for a while, for a few minutes nobody is coming. So I am really feeling stupid standing out there on pavement now on 87, nobody is coming. I can't get a cell phone out and this guy hurting bad. But I had to stay there. I knew I couldn't do anything for him. I had done as much as I knew how to do. The Forest Service guy finally comes along and has the On Star thing, so I go out into the middle of the highway, stepped out into the lane, the divider thing there, without trying to panic and just kind of waving at him. He was very nice and stopped and I told him there had been a shooting and asked him if he had a better cell phone or could drive and tell somebody. He said I have On Star. Okay cool. So he fires up the On Star thing and it took forever. We had more people asking where we were for 45 minutes. I swear I could not figure out bow to get people here. So standing there talking to him, didn't want to tell him anything, didn't want to panic him, 1 just there had been a shooting. The guy was hurt real bad. So he was gracious enough to stay there, said they were going to dinner or something like that, no problem. He is talking to the On Star people about his Boss being one of the Forest Service Law Enforcement guys. The guy that came here that had the moustache and so he is trying to help out a little bit there, he knew a Deputy or two. There was somebody I guess down at Clint's Well. We are going back and forth and the people, the On Star people get an Officer and I am not sure who or what Agency it was on line and they're asking is the shooter there and I said yes it's me, give them my name and where's the gun and I say I've got the gun. I
had unloaded it before I went up to the road, before I decided to get up there and try to flag anybody. I just took the magazine out, cleared the round and then put the round in the magazine and put the magazine back in the gun and put it in my waistband. I figured nobody could.. I didn't worry about it because I was going to stop somebody on the road. I didn't want to throw the gun on the ground. So I tell him at that point that yeah I've got the gun, but its not loaded, but just so everybody is feeling good, I am going to take the magazine out, so I take the magazine out, stick it in my pocket here, rack, slide and lock it open. Stick it back in my waistband. Were telling all this to the On Star and the Law Enforcement people. After a while I'm worried about this guy because nobody is coming. So just wait a minute because he is not going anywhere. They ask him if he can stay and he says yeah. So I run back down and check on the guy. So I come back again. He hasn't moved and he looks worse than before. He's passed, I guess, so I just go back. We wait and wait and finally the Medic guys show up in the red ambulance and I say follow me and I run on down here and just bring them on down to this point and I backed off. They were nervous about the gun, so I told them what it was and where I had it ( inaudible) and after that you pretty much know the rest of it. The rest of you guys got here and a long cold night. I wish I had been any place else but that you know. I don't know how far that is. Did you measure how far from here to there? I guessed 30 yards.
SF: Our scene guy measured it. And I will have to get with him, but he didn't specifically tell me what the measurements were.
HF: Just from shooting a bow and arrow I am guessing 20, 30 yards from here to there and its down hill. I remember thinking there wasn't a thing I could do, I am standing somewhere in here in all these rocks and things and doing this kind of stuff and I knew better than to turn and run because those dogs would have got me from behind. I knew I couldn't out run him because he was in motion. He was running full speed if I had turned the dogs would have got me. And they both wanted to eat me. I couldn't get off here. Over there is timber, over here is brush, it doesn't do any good to try to run.
SF: It's fast, it's going to be happening fast.
HF: 2 or 3 seconds is my guess. How fast a dog can run
SF: Well he is going to be here pretty quick.
HF: I feel so crappy. I didn't want to shoot the guy, but if I didn't stop him, he was going to hurt me'real bad. The guy had a look in his eyes, I'm just guessing that he had to have heard me say that I didn't shoot his dog. Because he answered back, "Well I'm going to hurt you." He said it a different way kind of thing. He never slowed down. He's doing this. I'm yelling as loud as I can, he's yelling as loud as he can and he's closing on me.
HF: After the shot I don't know. I just remember this one over here just kind of disappeared. I don't remember what happened to him. I remember seeing the other one over here. I assumed the other one was just right here.
SF: And I asked you a question, did you fear for your safety? Did you fear for your life?
HF: Yeah, I didn't know if he was going to kill me. I had the gun, I just knew if we went to fighting he was going to get that gun and I was the one that was going to get shot. Maybe he would have just beat on me a while, maybe he would have slapped me. But there is enough of a doubt there, I didn't know at that time that 87, people were out here. I am coming out of pretty wild country. I didn't know. I knew it was out there somewhere, but it could have been another mile.
HF: I know he wanted to hurt me real bad. Did he say I am going to kill you or something like that, I can't really, I am not sure. He was saying a lot of stuff and it scared the crap out of me. It alarmed me because this guy with the look and the actions and this kind of thing that was coming. He was going to seriously hurt me and he looked deranged to me. I am going to say retarded. He didn't look like a guy who had a full deck.
SF: Remember a question I asked you. I said okay as far as specifics of exactly what he is saying okay we're not sure. Things are happening really fast, but what was the tone of his voice?
HF: Scary, real scary.
SF: Yes, sir thank you very much
HF: My car in your way?
SF: Anyway we'll head on up. Okay. Well thanks for coming back out here and walking us through this. What is making that clicking noise? Front wheel drive? Do you hear a clicking noise? Alright what we will do at this point is can you give me a couple of sacks. 1, 2, 3, 4 big sacks. What is your Wife's name?
HF: Debbie or Debora
SF: Debora, what does she go by?
SF: Debbie, what I want to do is talk to Debbie and while you are changing out clothes and I am going to ask her was how your mental health been here lately. These are very generic questions, but its not an attack on you and you are welcome to talk to her about what I asked along that line as well. Okay?
HF: Okay, I am going to get my clothes.
SF: Hi guys, how you doing? Hi Debbie, I am Scott. Det. Feagan. Can I speak with you a minute? Hi I am
Det. Feagan how are you?
DF: I'm good
SF: You are Debbie? And your last name is Fish?
SF: Okay, what is your middle name Debbie?
DF: I don't have one. My maiden name is George. I go by Deb. Its actually
SF: What is your date of birth?
SF: I know your husband explained a few things to you. Kind of what's going on.
DF: Little bit, he didn't give me a whole lot of detail
SF: Okay I will let him share that with you? Go ahead and step over here. A couple of questions and I told your husband I was going to ask you some things. How has he been doing lately? Has he been depressed, how has his mental health been?
DF: Since he called me?
SF: No before he called you? For the last several weeks, months has everything been normal?
SF: Has he displayed any anger, temper tantrums, anything along that line?
DF: Not anything out of the normal, I mean kids disobey they get disciplined, but you have to follow the rules but nothing unusual, no.
SF: Is he on any kind of medications?
DF: The only thing he ever takes is vitamins.
SF: Does he drink?
DF: No, don't drink, don't smoke. He doesn't take any prescription medications
at all. Doesn't take any prescription pain medication if he can help it.
SF: No anger and if I say something that is not accurate share with me. Normal children contact. Children disciplined is safe to say?
SF: What was the circumstances you coming out hiking? How did this all come about?
DF: Of his hiking?
SF: Yes, yesterday
DF: He is working on a hike across Arizona, he started down in Douglas and this was just another leg of the hike. I brought him up to drop him off where he had left off the last time. We brought to vehicles up. The other vehicle we left where he figured he would stop and then I took him back to where he was going to start and went on home so I could take care of the kids and he would just drive the other vehicle home.
SF: And where was that to start?
DF: It was the turn off to Tonto National Bridge off of 87. I think its 87. The highway between Pine and Payson. It was right there at the highway. Then he was hiking up the 300 or Rim Road is where he had his vehicle parked.
SF: Does it sound like he is doing okay now?
DF: He's worried
DF: Beyond that he is okay, he is just concerned with all the stuff that is going to go on and is there going to be any civil suits and what's going to happen to us that kind of stuff.
SF: Well we investigate from a criminal standpoint and our investigation shows from face value is an issue of self defense.
DF: Yeah but that doesn't stop the family from trying to do a civil suit of some kind.
SF: True however that is something beyond our control
DF: Oh I know that is not in your control but its one of the things that worries him as a possibility. Like I said there's this going on plus a possible civil suit, so he's got worries on his mind. But beyond that he seems to be doing okay. That and not sleeping well, I don't think he slept too well with the worries.
SF: Last night?
SF: What is your phone number?
DF: [removed for protection of privacy]
SF: When he called you what did he tell you? First time he called.
DF: He said that he had been involved in a shooting. That he was calling from a satellite phone and there was some police involved. Said that I might have to get a hold of a lawyer, that he would be spending the night. And that he was okay, not to worn' about his physical well being.
SF: And he called you again?
DF: Yes he called once again and said I was going to have to come up here and bring him some clothes because you needed or Officers or whoever needed all his clothes because of gathering evidence and stuff, part of the crime scene sort of thing. That I needed to bring him some clothes, to take care of the kids as far as for doing the driving and everything. He said he had done it in self defense that at this point he was considered witness/victim but it was going to go that you guys were going to be down here investigating and to meet him here at about 11:00. And he told me he blew a radiator hose on his vehicle and that he had been towed. That he hadn't slept well.
SF: He normally sleeps well?
SF: Did he call you a third time?
DF: No he didn't call me a third time. He also told me he was a the La Quinta Inn and gave me a phone number. He didn't call back after that.
SF: Anything I haven't asked you or anything that you feel I should know about the totality of the emotion of what's going on? Or do you have questions?
DF: Said don't say much to the kids simply because until we found out exactly what's going on, so I haven't, I just told him we had to go get Daddy because there was car trouble. Which is true, we blew a radiator hose.
DF: Concerns that I have as far as is he going home with me or ?
DF: Yes, okay and you will be contacting us if there is anything as far as having come up to do anything with court you would contact us?
SF: What I will do is present the totality of everything that we are aware of that has taken place and run it through the County Attorney's Office and from statements to everything we have done and we have done a lot on this. The County Attorney was out here on scene to walk him through while the body was still here so that we didn't mess the scene up or anything.
DF: Yeah, he said
SF: That's what we do, we had someone stay here all during the night, our Deputies, a Deputy stay here during the night, so as far as anything happening at some point I will be in contact with you again. I do not foresee anything going forth as far as a criminal element here. Actually as far as the civil point, you have a right to defend yourself.
DF: That doesn't stop them from trying to sue
SF: It doesn't stop anybody in America
DF: You have to have a lawyer to defend yourself because
SF: I believe you will-be okay there
DF: Curiosity. Where is the County Seat if we have to do anything? Is it in Flagstaff?
SF: Yes, straight up 17
DF: Yeah, I know where Flagstaff is. Where be would have to be going if anything. Did you by chance could I have one of your cards or if something comes up and we need to contact you.
DF: Are you the head of this particular investigation?
DF: So if there is any questions you would be the one to contact?
SF: I'm the one
DF: Okay, just so that I know
SF: You have questions give me a call
DF: I appreciate this. I hope I don't need this. No offense.
SF: Understood, he is going to be sleepy. Hopefully he will wind down. Get some sleep. Okay
DF: Just trying to think if there was anything else. Kind of rattled.
SF: If you think of something write it down and give me a call.
DF: Oh do you know where his car was towed to? So that we can try and retrieve his vehicle.
SF: You know what I can find out for you. Our Lieutenant had it towed when it broke down on the road. I will find out and let you know.
DF: I don't know if he is going to try and get it fixed so that he can drive it home.
SF: Actually it's a radiator hose so its not going to be an expensive item.
DF: Its just getting it done.
SF: Let me give you guys a call and let you know because I personally do not know where it is at this point.
DF: Okay, there is no way for us, I will have to have him call around Flagstaff and see if we can find it today before I leave.
SF: We will find out right quick.
DF: I'd appreciate it.
Last Edited 04/15/2008