Boy Survives 30 Hours in Northern California Wilderness After Father Shot

Downieville, California. Photo by Ken Lund

A tragic incident occurred near Downieville on July 3rd, leaving a father shot dead and a 15-year-old boy surviving 30 hours in the Northern California wilderness.

Ari Gershman, a 45-year-old doctor from Danville, took his son Jack into Sierra County to go off-roading in their brand-new Jeep when a gunman opened fire on the two. The gunman killed the father and Jack was able to survive, only after escaping and spending 30 hours in the wilderness of the Tahoe National Forest.

While on the run, Jack was able to alert law enforcement officials, who eventually found the high-schooler and brought the accused gunman into custody following an ATV chase. The gunman is also suspected of shooting two other people in the area that day, both of which recovered in the hospital.

Ari is survived by his three children and wife Paige, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family, which as of July 7th had already raised $164,000.

“Ari was an avid bicyclist, a vegetarian, an outdoorsman, an Internal Medicine Doctor, a devoted and loving father and fantastic friend that was willing to drop anything for his friends and family,” read the GoFundMe page. “He was witty and wise. He died doing what he loved with his son in an area he had hoped to retire in one day.”

The suspect’s identity or motive behind the shooting was not released by the sheriff’s office, stating it anticipated releasing more information in the coming days.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


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