Sonora police car

Sonora police were searching Monday for a man suspected of stabbing another man multiple times in the torso during a verbal altercation about 1 a.m. Saturday in the parking lot of the Sonora Gold Lodge on Stockton Road.

Police Chief Turu VanderWiel said they have identified the suspect but had yet to locate him as of Monday morning, though he didn’t believe there was any danger to the community.

“From what we can tell this was not a random act and was an isolated incident stemming from an argument,” he said. “We don’t believe we have someone going around the city putting people in danger randomly.”

The 28-year-old victim was reportedly taken to Adventist Health Sonora by a good samaritan for injuries that VanderWiel last heard were not life threatening, though he didn’t know his status as of Monday morning.

VanderWiel wasn’t releasing the suspect’s name or a physical description until after he conferred with the investigating officers about whether that would be a good tactical decision because they don’t want to drive him further into hiding.

“We’re actively searching for the suspect and if anybody has information that can help us with the case investigation, please come forward and I’ll update the status if we do make an arrest,” he said.

The suspect was reportedly staying at the lodge and associated with one of two females who got into an argument with the victim before the stabbing occurred, VanderWiel said.

“He (the suspect) became involved, it became physical, and at one point the suspect produced a cutting and/or stabbing instrument and assaulted the victim,” he said, though he didn’t have an exact description of the weapon.

There was nothing in the incident reports that suggested any of the people involved were associated with a homeless encampment located off Stockton Road west of the lodge, VanderWiel said.

Contact Alex MacLean at or (209) 768-5175.

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