Authorities uncovered a marijuana grow while rescuing a man who called 911 to report that he had shot himself in a remote, mountainous area of Lucerne Valley on Thursday, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
At 4:20 p.m., dispatchers received a call from a man regarding a self-inflicted gunshot wound, a sheriff’s news release stated. He said he was in a wooded area on a mountain.
His cellphone coordinates generated his location. A sheriff’s helicopter and patrol deputies were dispatched to find him.
The helicopter crew was able to locate the man, who had suffered a gunshot wound to the lower leg, according to the release. The crew then hoisted him to safety.
He was taken to a landing zone and transferred to a California Highway Patrol helicopter, where he was treated on board by a paramedic. The man was then flown to a hospital for further treatment.
His condition was not immediately known.
A firearm was recovered at the scene and turned over to Victor Valley sheriff’s deputies to be processed. Authorities have not said whether the shooting was accidental or intentional.
While flying to the man’s location, the crew noticed the area was being used to grow marijuana, with several plants found growing along the hillsides, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
They alerted the sheriff’s Marijuana Enforcement Team about the grow.
It was not immediately known whether the wounded man was connected to the marijuana grow, but investigators noted that armed individuals are typically used to protect them in mountainous areas.
“Aviation personnel would like to remind the public that these types of mountainous marijuana grows can be dangerous and are usually protected by armed subjects,” the release read.
Anyone who encounters one while hiking was urged to “please back away and notify law enforcement.”
No additional details about the incident was provided.