ATF offers reward in Calaveras County shootings

VALLEY SPRINGS — The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced Wednesday a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of shooters targeting motor vehicles and houses in the Valley Springs area over the past two weeks.

Also Wednesday, the Calaveras County Sheriff's Department announced a 6:10 a.m. shooting into a Valley Springs home might be a 10th incident.

Sheriff Dennis Downum said evidence from the latest shooting is being analyzed to see if it is related to the series of shootings, most of which happened Dec. 22. That day, six motorists reported being fired on either before dawn or after sunset as they drove in or near Valley Springs.

No one was injured. Most of the rounds were recovered and sent to a federal evidence lab for analysis. Other than that vehicle description, investigators have little information so far, Downum said.

Despite that, rumors were circulating Wednesday in town that the shootings were connected to a Valley Springs bomb-making ring whose suspected members were arrested between Dec. 1 and Dec. 11.

Downum said there was "absolutely no connection that I'm aware of" between the two cases.