Cottonwood AZ (April 1, 2020) – On March 30, 2020, just after 11:30 PM, YCSO deputies were dispatched to a campground off Perkinsville Road near the Verde River outside of Jerome, Arizona. The call involved a male adult who had been shot in the arm. The 24-year-old victim was being treated by personnel at the Jerome Fire Department for a non-life threatening wound to his left bicep.
The victim, from Cottonwood, told deputies that he set up a camp site near a bridge over the Verde River off Perkinsville Road when, around 10 PM, a group arrived and set up their own camp nearby. Members of the group started a large fire while creating a lot of noise revving vehicles, dirt bikes and shooting firearms. The victim approached the group and requested they stop shooting and reduce the noise level as he was trying to sleep. He was told to ‘f’ off and decided to leave. As he was packing his campsite, he heard more shots and realized he had been struck by a round in his left arm. He believed it was intentional. The victim left the area and sought medical attention at the Jerome Fire Department.
Deputies scouted the area carefully understanding that these campers were armed and acting belligerent. When the group was found just before 2 AM, they were still being very loud by revving trucks and a dirt bike. 5 persons were detained. Deputies spoke with another group of uninvolved campers who confirmed those detained were noisy and shooting firearms into the night.
After interviewing witnesses, deputies determined 22-year-old Austin Shackleford of Prescott Valley was the person that fired the shot injuring the victim. He initially denied shooting a firearm then later admitted he was firing across the river at a stump. According to the victim, this would have been at the time he was leaving. Deputies seized 3 firearms, including a 9mm handgun used by the suspect.
Shackleford was booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges including Disorderly Conduct and Assault. Bond has not been set.