louis martin
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Covelo, Mendocino County--

Sunday and Monday were quiet days in Covelo. Not a gun shots was heard in or near the town with a reputation for expressing itself with fire arms. But perhaps it was just time to reload--because on Tuesday evening shot rang out again, and the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received 23 calls of shooting in the area.

The calls came in from the hours of 9 PM on Tuesday to 1:45 AM on Wednesday.

Shots were heard sometime between 10 and 11 PM at the house of Donna Britton on Highway 162. Said Britton, "We got the kids up and had them lie on the floor." She then called her sister-in-law, Claudette, who drove over in her pickup truck.

At 11:46 they phoned the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, reporting that the house had been hit by gun fire and that Claudette's truck had also been hit on her drive over.

A window of the house was shot out, but when deputies arrived the shooting stopped, according to Britton. "Maybe they had a scanner," she said.

Initially she said she heard shots coming from the direction of the Peter's house. The Peters and the Brittons are old foes in the Round Valley area. "The shots got louder and closer," said Britton.

Britton said she has a "suspicion" about who did the shooting but said, "I don't want to say (who)." She could hear yelling and thinks drinking was involved.

Another resident, Edwina Wilson, called the Sheriff's Office at 12:47 AM to report that her house on High School Street was also hit by gun fire.

In an incident on Saturday afternoon that may not be related, the residence of Mark Kappl was shot at in a drive-by shooting. In that incident, "numerous rounds of ammunition" were fired into or around the residence, according the Sheriff's report. Kappl's estranged wife, Annette and Larry Whaley were arrested for that shooting.

Prior to Saturday, the most recent shooting was of Elvin Peters on October 13th. Peters was shot in the legs. No one has been arrested for that shooting.

Elvin Peters is the brother of Arylis Peters and the late Leonard Peters. In an April incident that set off two other shootings, Arylis Peters shot and killed Eugene Britton in the Covelo High School parking lot. Eugene Britton was Donna Britton's brother-in-law. Following that shooting, brother Leonard was shot and killed by Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies, and one deputy, Bob Davis, was allegedly shot and killed by Eugene "Bear" Lincoln.

It is possible that yesterday's shooting is retribution for the shooting of Elvin Peters back in October, though no Britton has been charged with that shooting.

The two families have had an on-going feud for years.

There were 10 people in the residence of Donna Britton at the time of the shooting, and the Sheriff's Office was asked to help them get out.

Assistance was provided by Sheriff's Office deputies and SERT unit, members of the CHP, Ukiah Police SWAT team, and the Willits Police Department.

The Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident, and so far no suspects have been identified.



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