Chalfant man investigated in connection with “shots fired”

On the morning of Thursday, October 20, 2011, at approximately 6:50, Mono County Sheriff’s Department dispatch received a call regarding possible gun shots fired on Valley Road in Chalfant.


Kenneth Riggins

Mono County Sheriff’s deputies, along with California Highway Patrol, were dispatched to a residence on Valley Road in Chalfant with the report of a man yelling followed by the sound of multiple gun shots. When deputies arrived on scene, they observed a fire in a burn barrel actively burning in the back yard. Deputies made contact with Kenneth Wayne Riggins, age 37, of Chalfant. Mr. Riggins had placed live ammunition into an actively burning barrel causing the ammunition to be set off.

The ammunition was continually discharging while deputies were on scene causing a public safety issue. The rounds in the barrel were the “possible shots fired” that were heard. Mono County Code Enforcement, along with the Mono County Building Department, was called to the residence. The residence has been red tagged. Upon further investigation into this incident, it was determined that Mr. Riggins was under the influence of a controlled substance and was taken into custody and transported to the Mono County Jail in Bridgeport. This incident is still under investigation with the Mono County Sheriff’s Department and the Mono County Building Department.

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19 Responses to Chalfant man investigated in connection with “shots fired”

  1. Compassionate One October 25, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    Chalfant is one the most wonderful places to live. Good neighbors, great scenery, and beautiful big lots= priceless peace. Perhaps people are reacting to this incident with such judgement against the place and not the person is because it is so rare to hear about such things here.

  2. Rob October 25, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    There’s no comparing anywhere in Southern Calfornia to Chalfant. Chalfant has some beautiful views that can’t be found anywhere else. You can also find one of the best cheeseburgers around at TJ’s.

    One of the pleasures of living out in the middle of nowhere use to be not having to deal with code enforcement officers. People shouldn’t worry about what others do on their property if it doesn’t effect them. Unfortunately Mr. Riggins brought attention to himself by his tossing of live ammo into a burn barrel.

    Nobody likes living near sex offenders, but there’s probably more in Mammoth on a busy weekend then anywhere else in the entire county.


  3. Eamon October 25, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    To me, Chalfant reminds of Watts, Compton, or East LA with mountains and a lot of blowing sand. Numerous residents are in GROSS code violations and the community has an inordinate number registered sex offenders. I’ve considered buying there but every time I’m there I just shudder at the thought of owning a ball-and-chain….this story is another reminder of why I wouldn’t

  4. JJ October 23, 2011 at 4:15 am #

    I don’t support putting ammo in a fire pit, but I don’t think bullets fly around like missiles without being in a barrel of a gun. I would think they act more like a fire cracker???? Anybody know for sure?

    • John Barton October 23, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

      JJ- Firecracker? Yes and no. The energy of the bullet coming out of the casing would be highly diminished and therefore would not have as long of a range of travel. This is because much of the energy of the burning powder is expelled backward blowing the casing back and the bullet forward. However, they are still lethal.

    • Bobbie Lee Swagger October 23, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

      “Anybody know for sure?”

      No. And I don’t want to be around to find out.

  5. chalfant resident October 22, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    I agree with sierragrl & Justin. I have lived in Chalfant for 8 years and this is the first time I have heard gunfire in the neighborhood, it was scary. But what I have experienced in Chalfant for the last 8 years has been great neighbors, peace & quiet, no tourists or traffic, a great volunteer fire dept. and all the privacy I could want. I get so tired of hearing all the negativity about the area, funny thing is all the people always saying the negative things don’t live there so how can they possibly know what they are talking about? There are stupid dangerous people everywhere, look out you just might be one of them!

  6. sierragrl October 22, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    I don’t think we should judge chalfant on the actions of one very stupid man. one of the benefits of chalfant is large lots and lots of space and privacy and the ability to live as one likes…this guy is just plain stupid, no if ands or buts….there’s stupid people every where, mammoth and bishop included.

    • Wayne Deja October 23, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

      stupid people in Mammoth?……….no way!!!!!!!!!

      • Big Rick O'Brien October 23, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

        Wayne, the GOOD people of Mammoth have no control over who decides to move to, or live there. Unfortunately, bad things happen to good people, everywhere. I seem to remember not too long ago where a man was nearly beaten to death in his own home in YOUR hometown of Lone Pine. Mammoth just got too big, too fast.
        Too many restaurants, too many hotels/ motels, all of which hire cheap, un-documented labor to increase their profits. Just saying…

        • Wayne Deja October 24, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

          I remember that beating incident in Lone Pine….a bunch of stupid drunken unemployed pothead kids playing tough guys….and ending up getting 5 years in State Prison…for trying to steal electronic equipment.Our town is much better off without them in it.Just too bad the victim of the beating didn’t hear them coming into his house,and played shooting gallery when they entered his bedroom.

        • Wayne Deja October 24, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

          Big Rick…..Your right….Mammoth got too big too quick…But I can remember a time back in the 80’s when people up there saw it coming…and could have done something about it…30 years ago….if they wanted to.But the “quiet little town in the mountains” isn’t what they wanted….they wanted the extra tourism,the home building,the airport,the money….they wanted to become the “Aspen,Colorado” of the west coast…the big name,the big-time ski resort….even bringing up a try to get the Winter Olympics.The people that I feel sorry for up there now is the now- retired folks that bought a home or property back in the 80’s and now got to deal with the “new mammoth”…not the Mammoth they chose to retire in.

          • Ken Warner October 25, 2011 at 9:09 am #

            Yup! Couldn’t agree more….

          • Big Rick O'Brien October 25, 2011 at 8:18 pm #

            1000 % right Wayne. But I’ll bet you Aspen doesn’t have an 80% “illegal” problem, either.. My friends parents bought a place up there (Mammoth) in the 80’s to retire to & being a 30 yr. LEO, he saw the writing on the wall 10 years ago and said adios. No pun intended

  7. Justin Case October 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    The property in question is a 1 acre lot with 2 mobiles. 1 of these mobiles has had, and I use the term very lightly “additions”. I can guarantee that these do not meet any saftey codes in any way shape or form. Hence the red tag.
    Chalfant is really a wonderful place to live. And yes to us who live here not only was this a surprise but was very scarey for all the family’s, children and parents who at that time of the morning were all up and getting ready to send kids off to school. we may be a small community but we are not the folk of deliverance people think us to be. And having the sounds of gun shots is definitely not anything we are used to.

  8. Terribone October 21, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    And apparently that’s also how you spell in Chalfant…

  9. Eamon October 21, 2011 at 8:46 am #

    It’s Chalfant, is this seriously a surprise?

  10. Bobbie Lee Swagger October 20, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    That’s how we role in Chalfant!

  11. Big Rick O'Brien October 20, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    There is something missing from this story. What does the building dept. have to do with some moron throwing live ammo into a fire? Are we to assume that so many rounds went off that it weakened the structure to a point that it had to be red-tagged?


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