Shotgun-wielding man arrested after Fall River Mills standoff

FALL RIVER MILLS — A shotgun-wielding man who threatened to shoot himself as well as any deputies who tried to approach his home was arrested following a tense standoff in Fall River Mills early Tuesday, Jan. 28. The man’s 11-year-old son was inside the residence with him when deputies responded to initial reports of a person who had the barrel of a shotgun in his mouth and was threatening to kill himself. The boy was unharmed during the encounter.

This morning’s incident, which ended without bloodshed, was the second armed standoff involving Shasta County sheriff’s deputies in the last two days. The earlier barricaded standoff happened on the County’s south end in Ono, when a wanted felon fired a round at deputies after barricading himself inside a remote cabin. During the standoff the man claimed he was heavily armed, the cabin was a stronghold, and he had a grenade. He was eventually apprehended without injury after he exited the cabin where he had been hiding.


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Deputies were dispatched to a private residence on 3rd St., just north of SR-299E, around midnight, after a law enforcement agency from outside the area contacted SHASCOM and requested a welfare check. Officials who reported the incident relayed to SHASCOM emergency dispatchers that 31-year-old, Christopher Lee Houghtby, was armed with a shotgun and threatening to kill himself.

While en route to Houghtby’s residence, deputies learned the man’s young son was inside the home with him and also learned that Houghtby had at least one 20-gauge shotgun registered to him.

Deputies who rushed to a Fall River Mills home after receiving reports of a possibly suicidal and shotgun-wielding man spent nearly two hours trying to convince the armed man to surrender peacefully. Robin Montgomery/SCNS photo

Official radio traffic at the time indicated that once at the scene, deputies began surrounding Houghtby’s home and contacted the “highly agitated” and possibly intoxicated man on the telephone.

During numerous subsequent phone calls, Houghtby became more irate and agitated, reportedly telling deputies and dispatchers he would shoot anyone who tried to approach his home or make contact with him. During that time, deputies could hear a shotgun action being manipulated.

Due to his highly agitated state numerous deputies from the Burney Sheriff’s Station and surrounding areas responded to Houghtby’s home to assist the initial responding deputies.

Over the next hour and a half, Houghtby refused to exit the residence, but deputies continued negotiating with him over the telephone in an attempt to get him to allow his child to exit the residence and to surrender to deputies peacefully.

After nearly two hours and multiple phone conversations, Houghtby finally exited his residence at around 1:45 a.m., and was taken into custody without further incident.

Houghtby’s son, who was confirmed to have been inside the residence with him throughout the ordeal, was taken into protective custody and later released to a family member.

During a subsequent search of Houghtby’s residence deputies located a loaded shotgun propped against a wall near the home’s front door. The weapon was later confiscated.

Deputies are seen discussing Houghtby’s apprehension at the end of a nearly two hour standoff in Fall River Mills. Robin Montgomery/SCNS photo

Contacted at the scene after Houghtby’s arrest at the end of the standoff, Shasta County Sheriff’s Sgt. Marc St.Clair reported that Houghtby’s son was uninjured during the incident and that Houghtby was arrested for child endangerment and resisting officers with violence.

Jail records indicated Houghtby was also booked into Shasta County Jail in Redding on an unrelated failure to appear warrant. He remains in custody, where he is being held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

According to St.Clair, no deputies or other citizens were injured during the standoff or Houghtby’s apprehension.

The sheriff’s investigation is ongoing and St.Clair advised more details about the incident and Houghtby’s arrest would be released at a later time.

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Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 16 grandchildren.