Danville doctor fatally shot during off-road Sierra trip with son

The 15-year-old son of a Danville doctor fatally shot during an off-roading trip in Sierra County has been found safe, and a suspect also sought in two other shootings was arrested after a chase Sunday, authorities said.

Around 4 p.m. Friday, sheriff’s deputies responded to reports that two people had been shot in a remote northwest stretch of the county, according to Sierra County sheriff’s social-media posts.

Deputies later learned the victims were taken by private vehicle to Cal-Ida, an unincorporated Sierra County town, before a medical helicopter flew them to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

Soon after, deputies received a call from the 15-year-old who told police he had just fled the scene of a shooting and had lost his bearings.

When deputies arrived, they found a shooting victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Deputies sought assistance from local law enforcement, who searched for the teen before finding him around 5 p.m. Saturday in the Tahoe National Forest. The teen was unhurt and described as in good health.

A couple of hours later, sheriff’s deputies found and tried to detain a suspect driving an all-terrain vehicle matching descriptions provided by the earlier shooting victims. The vehicle fled south on Saddleback Road toward Downieville, but deputies stopped it and arrested the driver about a mile north of Highway 49.

Police have not released a motive for the shooting. The Sierra County sheriff said they would release more details later this week.

A GoFundMe campaign identified the shooting victim as Ari Gershman, 45.

“Ari was an avid bicyclist, a vegetarian, an outdoorsman, a pulmonary doctor, a devoted and loving father and fantastic friend that was willing to drop anything for his friends and family.” a campaign statement said.

“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.”

The campaign seeks funds to assist Gershman’s wife, Paige, a former speech and language therapist for special-education preschool classes at Greenbrook Elementary School, who is now undergoing chemotherapy to treat cancer, and to support the couple’s three children, who attend Sycamore elementary and San Ramon Valley high schools.

As of 6:50 p.m. Monday, the GoFundMe campaign had raised nearly $112,000 from nearly 1,200 donors toward a $150,000 goal.

By George Kelly, gkelly@bayareanewsgroup.com

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Author: George Kelly