California doctor on an offroading trip with his 15-year-old son wa shot and killed in front of his son in an unprovoked attack on July 3
After he was hit, Dr Ari Gershman managed to stop the Jeep he’d bought a day earlier enabling his teen son Jack to flee into the forest
Gershman, a 45-year-old Danville based physician died at the scene
Jack Gershman hiked an hour uphill before he could find reception and call 911 with only one percent battery power left on his cell phone
After contacting his mother, the teen then hid in Sierra Nevada forest before he was rescued on Memorial Day
Gunman John Thomas Conway, 40, of Oroville, California, was identified by Sierra County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday
Conway is accused of fatally shooting Dr Ari Gershman, who was off-roading with his son, Jack, near Downieville, California on Friday
Authorities said Conway shot two other people earlier that Friday, both were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries
The 15-year-old had been alone in the forest for more than 30 hours before he was found in good condition on Saturday
John Thomas Conway, 40, of Oroville, California, was arrested on Independence Day following an hours-long search through the forest that resulted in an officer-involved shooting, the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office said.
Officials from at least six different law enforcement agencies embarked on a massive manhunt for the suspect after two people, who were not named, were shot in the Poker Flat area, and another, Dr Ari Gershman, was killed in nearby Downieville, on Friday.
Gershman, a doctor of internal medicine based in Danville, California, had been off-roading in his Jeep with his son Jack, 15, in Tahoe National Forest, when they stopped on a remote road to ask Conway for directions.
The gunman, who was driving an ATV, allegedly open fire ‘out of nowhere’, hitting Gershman, who immediately collapsed and died at the scene.
After his father was shot, Jack Gershman reportedly then fled into the forest to take shelter and was forced to survive alone 30 hours before he was rescuers found him.
Authorities said they located Jack, who was able to call 911 after hiking to find cellphone reception, despite him traveling a ‘considerable distance.’
‘Even though the juvenile had fled the shooting and spent the night alone in the forest, he was in good physical condition and did not require medical attention,’ officials said in a press release.
‘After giving him some food and water, officers transported him to the Sheriff’s Office, where he was reunited with his mother.’
Hours later, authorities located Conway after he failed to stop at a checkpoint on Saddleback Road and allegedly tried to run over two wildlife officers.
A third officer, who was down the road, attempted to block his vehicle as he drove away, resulting in a collision.
Officers then opened fire on the gunman and deployed a K-9, before taking Conway into custody, the sheriff’s office said.
Authorities said none of Conway’s victims were known to him and the Sierra County District Attorney plans to announce charges on the suspect ‘soon.’
Gersham’s second son Jack seen [right] with his brother Evan, 16, and 10-year-old sister Maci, allegedly called 911. He then called his mother, Paige to report: ‘Dad’s been shot and I think he’s dead and I’m running away, uphill and I don’t know where I am’
Meyers-Barer said Gershman collapsed and died from the gunshot wound at the scene.
Just before the shooting, Gershman’s wife, Paige, who was diagnosed six weeks ago with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, had sent a text to her husband letting him know that she received promising test results.
She had previously been tracking their progress on the trip using her phone.
Because her husband is a doctor, Paige said she thought it was odd he didn’t respond.
According to Meyes-Barer, Jack called 911 before calling his mother, around 5.30pm.
During the call, Jack told his mother: ‘Dad’s been shot and I think he’s dead and I’m running away, uphill and I don’t know where I am.’
Ari Gershman, a 45-year-old doctor based in Danville died at the scene and his son Jack spent 30 hours alone and lost in the dense woods, drinking from a stream, wearing only shorts and a T-shirt and covered in bug bites and scratches, before he was rescued.
The alleged gunman was arrested shortly after Jack was found, following a police chase on his ATV. Moments before shooting Gershman, the man also allegedly shot and injured two other people nearby who survived, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Jack Gershman told authorities that it had taken him an hour climbing uphill before he found signal for his cell phone, which was only at 1 per cent battery power at the time he could make the call. He was found in good physical condition on Memorial Day 4 in Tahoe National Forest [photo]
Meyes-Barer and Paige drove four hours to Downieville, and on the way received messages Jack had tried to send earlier in the day.
Meyers-Barer said: ‘He said he was sorry and to tell his brother and sister he loved them. And he loved his mom. It was gut-wrenching.’
When they arrived, deputies at a sheriff’s office broke the news that Gershman had been found dead and Jack was still missing.
Rescuers contacted network provider AT&T to help track pings on Jack’s phone despite it being out of battery power.
Jack seen,[photo], with his siblings, was offroading with his dad when the shooting happened. After his dad died from a bullet he fled and called police to say he was lost, according to the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office
He told authorities that he was able to get water from a stream he came across while walking in the forest.
There was no immediate word on a motive for the shooting of Gershman.
Gershman ‘was an avid bicyclist, a vegetarian, an outdoorsman, an internal medicine doctor, a devoted and loving father and fantastic friend that was willing to drop anything for his friends and family,’ according to a GoFundMe page which is raising money for the family.
‘He was witty and wise. He died doing what he loved with his son in an area he had hoped to retire in one day.’
In addition to his son, Gershman is survived by two other children, Evan, 16, and Maci, 10, and by his wife, Paige.
Paige a speech and language therapist, is currently undergoing chemotherapy for the Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, according to the GoFundMe page. The crowd funding campaign so far, has raised $443,932 of $550,000 goal.