On June 9, 2023, at about 8:50 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a residence on the 19100 block of Highway 36 near Swains Flat for the report of a homicide.
Deputies arrived at the residence and located a deceased male with what appeared to be gunshot wounds.
The reporting party, a 46-year-old male, told investigators that he had gone to check on his friend, 51-year-old Rico Johnson, who had reportedly been exhibiting erratic behavior that day. Upon arriving at the residence, Johnson reportedly aimed a firearm at the reporting party, threatening to kill him. The reporting party then fatally shot Johnson.
Based upon the totality of circumstances of this incident, Sheriff’s investigators elected to not make an arrest, pending further investigation. A forensic autopsy is in the process of being scheduled.
This case is still under investigation by the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Division and will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office upon completion for review and charging decision.
Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.
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