Suspect in 2011 Palm Desert Shooting Arrested in Northern California

Booking photo of William Oliver Sumpter Jr., 28, released by Humboldt County Sheriff's Department, via KIEM-TV News Channel 3 in Eureka, Calif.
Booking photo of William Oliver Sumpter Jr., 28, released by Humboldt County Sheriff's Department, via KIEM-TV News Channel 3 in Eureka, Calif.
A man wanted in connection with a 2011 drive-by shooting in the Palm Desert area was arrested Sunday morning in Humboldt County, about 700 miles north of the Coachella Valley, according to law enforcement in Northern California.

William Oliver Sumpter Jr., 28, of Myers Flat, is suspected of shooting a 35-year-old Indio man as he and a 21-year-old La Quinta woman walked to a party near California Avenue and Fred Waring Drive in August 2011, Riverside County sheriff's officials said.

The victim, whose name was not released, "was shot four times and is now paralyzed from the chest down and is confined to a wheelchair," Sgt. K. Fitzpatrick of the Palm Desert Station said in a statement Jan. 12.

In December 2013, Palm Desert deputies presented evidence to a judge and got an arrest warrant charging Sumpter with attempted murder and intimidation of witnesses/victims, Fitzpatrick said.

Riverside County sheriff's investigators in Palm Desert enlisted help from the U.S. Marshals Pacific Southwest Regional Task Force, who helped confirm Sumpter was in the Garberville area, according to law enforcement.

About 8:15 a.m. Sunday, a deputy in Garberville spotted a vehicle matching a description of Sumpter's dark green Toyota Landcruiser, driving out of the Humboldt House Inn parking lot, Humboldt County sheriff's officials said.

The deputy stopped the Landcruiser, the California Highway Patrol responded as backup, and the deputy confirmed the driver was Sumpter.

Sumpter was arrested on the arrest warrant from Riverside County and he was held Monday night at Humboldt County Correctional Facility in Eureka, where his bail was $1 million, a corrections corporal told Patch in a phone interview.

Sumpter was "being held awaiting transport to Riverside County," Humboldt County sheriff's officials said.

The alleged drive-by shooting was reported shortly after 10 p.m. Aug. 26, 2011, in the area of California and Fred Waring, Fitzpatrick said.

"When officers arrived, they located a victim who had sustained multiple gunshot wounds," Fitzpatrick said. "The victim, a 35-year-old Indio resident, was accompanied by a 21-year-old female from La Quinta. They were walking to a house party in the area when the victim was fired upon from a moving vehicle."

The victim was taken to a hospital for treatment, Fitzpatrick said.

"A mini school bus type of vehicle was seen in the area shortly before the shooting, but it is unknown if it is related," Fitzpatrick said.

Anyone with more info was urged to call the Pam Desert Station at (760) 836-1600 or Crime Stoppers at 760-341-STOP (7867).


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