Watch CBS News

Church Caretaker In Gold Run Shot While Confronting Fugitive

GOLD RUN (CBS13) - A church caretaker is recovering after getting shot while confronting an armed robber in Gold Run.

The incident led Placer County deputies on a manhunt for 25-year-old John Waninger who was already wanted for murder out of San Bernardino County.

Waninger is accused of killing 34-year-old Travis Payment of Victorville just days before showing up at the Pioneer Union Church in Gold Run.

Deputies say he was attempting to steal property when the church's caretaker confronted him.

At some point, the caretaker took a photo of the suspect using his cell phone and the suspect demanded he hand it over.

In a surveillance video released by the sheriff's office, you can hear a single gunshot and partially see the suspect hit the caretaker in the head with his gun.

Deputies say the caretaker was hit in the jaw but is expected to be okay.

Following the shooting, Waninger began demanding money from the caretaker before fleeing. He was eventually tracked down after being spotted on I-80 and arrested for attempted murder, robbery, and burglary.

John Waninger
John Waninger (credit: Placer County Sheriff's Office)

"You could tell something big was happening," said Roberta who lives in the area.

Roberta lives not far from the church and was heading home when she says authorities came out in full force.

She's shocked to learn the suspect was already wanted for murder and is glad he wasn't able to escape yet another violent crime.

"I'm thankful for that I am," she said.

We did attempt to speak to the church but were told no comment.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.