Nevada police searching for man who shot deputy

AP News
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Posted: Feb 25, 2011 3:29 PM
Nevada police searching for man who shot deputy

Rural Nevada deputies on Friday searched for a gunman who is accused of firing dozens of rounds at police from the roof of his house, critically injuring one deputy with shots to the chest, hip and legs before fleeing from the home.

Elko County sheriff's deputies cordoned off a four-block area of the northeastern Nevada town of Wells as they searched building by building for Peter Coca, an electrical contractor who authorities were calling armed and dangerous, KELK reported.

School was canceled Friday as a precaution in Wells, which is about 60 miles west of the Utah border.

Deputies responding to a domestic dispute at the house Thursday evening spotted the 43-year-old Coca on the roof with a rifle. They ordered him to show his hands, but he yelled back and shot about 25 to 30 rounds at officers, who returned fire, deputies said.

Officers moved to a safer area, but Coca fired another 20 to 30 rounds at them before running from the home, authorities said.

Coca's 39-year-old wife was arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting her husband by distracting officers as he made his getaway, KELK reported.

Police said they were unsure whether Coca was able to flee the town, which straddles Interstate 80. Local, state and tribal police and the neighboring Humboldt County Sheriff's Office have joined the search.

The wounded deputy, Lenwood VanNatter, was taken to the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, where he was listed in critical condition after undergoing surgery.

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Information from: KELK-AM, http://www.elkoradio.com/