Crime

Sheriff’s Office identifies man shot to death at Tuolumne County campground

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

The man shot to death at an upper Highway 108 campground last week was identified Tuesday as Timothy Edward Smith, 36, of Watsonville.

The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office had reported the man’s age and hometown last week, but it did not release a name until Tuesday.

No other new details were released on the shooting, which happened at about 2 a.m. Thursday, July 11, at the Deadman Campground. It is in the Kennedy Meadows area of the Stanislaus National Forest, about 2 1/2 hours northeast of Modesto.

The Sheriff’s Office reported Friday that Smith entered the tent of a sleeping couple he did not know and was killed during the ensuing confrontation.

“The woman woke up to the Watsonville man on top of her,” the office said in a Facebook post Friday. “The woman yelled to wake up her boyfriend ... During the ensuing confrontation, the Watsonville man was shot, causing his death.”

The couple has not been identified, and no arrest has been reported.

John Holland covers breaking news and has been with The Modesto Bee since 2000. He has covered agriculture for the Bee and at newspapers in Sonora and Visalia. He was born and raised in San Francisco and has a journalism degree from UC Berkeley.
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