A man was found dead from a gunshot wound early this morning at Deadman Campground near Kennedy Meadows Resort.
Lt. Deborah Moss with the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office said in an email Thursday afternoon it was “very early in the investigation.”
The circumstances leading up to the death have not been released.
The Sheriff’s Office said in a press release sent out at approximately 1 p.m. that there were no arrests at the time and “all involved parties are cooperating with the investigation.”
The release added that they were not looking for any further suspects.
Stanislaus National Forest Public Information Officer Diana Fredlund said the shooting death occurred at the Deadman Campground, which is located on Kennedy Meadows Road adjacent to the resort.
Kennedy Meadows Resort is the concessionaire for the campground and operates it under a special use permit, she said.
The owner of the resort declined to comment Thursday morning.
According to the Stanislaus National Forest, Deadman campground is located along the banks of the Middle Fork Stanislaus River and is 29 miles east of Pinecrest.
The campground, which is named for Deadman Creek, a tributary of the Stanislaus River, has 17 campsites. The campsites are filled on a first come, first serve basis.
Fredlund said she did not have information about how many people were staying at the campsite. She said the numbers aren’t shared by the concessionaire until end of the year reporting.
A comment attributed to the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page said they were notified of the shooting between 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday.
According to a posting on the Facebook page Gold Country Fire EMS and Law Enforcement, a man walked into another person’s tent and was shot by a person who claimed to be acting in self defense.
Lacey Thomas, 31, of Sonora, said when she arrived at Kennedy Meadows Resort & Packstation with her daughters to go horseback riding Thursday morning, law enforcement was on the scene, but the campgrounds appeared to be filled and humming with normal summer activities.
“There were dogs running around and tourists coming in and out and people eating on the patio,” she said.
Thomas said the horseback riding guides were discussing the shooting and said they were there overnight when a drunk man repeatedly harassed people in a tent. The man repeatedly returned to the tent and scared a woman. Later, the guides and other campers heard a gunshot ring through the campgrounds, waking many of the patrons.
Thomas said the people involved in the shooting appeared to still be on site and were not detained.
Fredlund said she was notified of the shooting by dispatch officials at 8 a.m. Thursday.
The Sheriff’s Office has jurisdiction to investigate criminal activity because the Stanislaus National Forest does not have law enforcement officials that are not specifically related to the forest, she said.
Fredlund said she did not know of another time when a person was shot on Stanislaus National Forest property.
She said anyone with a firearm on federal property must comply with state gun laws.
According to Emigrant Wilderness and Northwestern Yosemite, a 1990 book by Ben Schifrin, Deadman Lake, located at a higher elevation above the campsite and from where Deadman Creek flows out, was named for a Tim Hazeltime, who died in the winter of 1860-61 while trying to reach Sonora from the Bodie mines.