Man killed near cockfighting arena

Sonoma County sheriff’s officials said Tuesday they found a large secluded vineyard and a sophisticated illegal cockfighting arena isolated in a grove of trees at a ranch where a man was fatally shot Sunday.

The victim’s name has not been released, but he was shot in the neck and chest area by one or more people, and bullet casings were found near the cockfighting arena, sheriff’s office spokeswoman Misti Harris said.

The ranch is located in the 6500 block of Lakeville Highway.

Three of the victim’s family members drove him in the back of a truck to Petaluma Valley Hospital. When a family member called 9-1-1 en route, Petaluma police responded to the hospital around 11:30 a.m. It was then determined the shooting happened in the sheriff’s jurisdiction, Harris said.

The man was transferred to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital where he died.

The victim’s family initially was uncooperative, but detectives were able to find out where the shooting occurred.

Witnesses said several vehicles sped from the ranch southeast of Petaluma to Lakeville Highway, and some of the vehicles were caught on surveillance video, Harris said.

Some of the roosters that detectives found at the site had spurs and some were found in a pit nearby. Sonoma County Animal Control collected 15 live roosters, some of them injured, and 10 dead roosters, Harris said.

There are no descriptions of the suspects.

Sonoma County Alliance has offered a $2,500 reward for the arrest and conviction of the suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (707) 565-2185.