Three men were found shot to death Tuesday in the Rail Road Flat area of Calaveras County, California, where they had allegedly been trespassing on a property containing dozens of marijuana plants.
Deputies responded to a call of shots fired at around 9 am Tuesday morning, where they found the bodies of the three men, according to local ABC affiliate ABC10. Investigators believe the three victims were trying to steal marijuana plants located on the property.
The property owner, identified as Leon Michael Grammer, allegedly fired at the trespassers after he spotted them. Grammer allegedly called his brother, Jeremiah Lee Barrett, to come out to the property for help. When Barrett arrived, he allegedly fired at the trespassers as they ran down the driveway, hitting and ultimately killing them.
Investigators believe there was no self-defense justification for the shooting, and are reportedly handling the case as a triple homicide. At a Wednesday press conference, Calaveras County Sheriff Gary Kuntz reiterated that “unless you’re assaulted, you can’t kill anyone to protect property.”
Grammer was arrested on charges of conspiracy and accessory, and his bail was set at $30,000. Barrett was arrested on murder and conspiracy charges and bail was set at $2.5 million.
At the press conference, Kuntz also reportedly said that county residents had become concerned by the amount of marijuana growing happening on local properties.
The victims have not yet been identified while authorities notify their families.