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Date Released: 8/19/2004
Subject: Assault Investigation
Contact: Brenda Gainey, PIO
Case No#: 200405541
Released By: Brenda Gainey

Location: McCann

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a McCann residence late last night after it was reported that a family member had broken into a residence and fired several shots from a handgun. Deputies arrived at the residence and found Oral Martin Whitlow Jr., 70 of McCann, being restrained by his son and two grandsons. Whitlow’s relatives reported that he had entered their residence and fired several shots from a handgun. The family said there was a lengthy physical struggle between Whitlow and his son and grandsons as they attempted to defend themselves from him. They reported that as they attempted to get the gun away from Whitlow, another shot was accidentally fired. No one was injured by any of the shots. The younger Whitlows reported that they were able to subdue the elder Whitlow and they called the Sheriff’s Office.

During the altercation Whitlow sustained some injuries and he was transported to an area hospital where he was treated and released late this morning.

While Sheriff’s Deputies were at the scene, Oral Whitlow’s daughter-in-law arrived. Due to the volatility of the situation, and because deputies were still investigating and processing the scene, the woman, Tracy Marie Whitlow, 48 of Weott, was told not to interfere. Ms. Whitlow failed to comply with the deputies’ instructions and pushed one of them out of her way. She was subsequently arrested for battery on a peace officer and obstructing a peace officer. She was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where she was booked and released on her own recognizance.

The incident is still under investigation.