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Shooting in Newcastle leaves one dead, rural community in shock

Homicide suspect arrested in Rocklin
By: Gus Thomson of the Auburn Journal
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“I was thinking that there was a fire as I had my coffee. You don’t often hear sirens. And not for this.”

Rural Placer County resident Rosa Driggers

One man is dead and a 28-year-old Lincoln area man is under arrest after a shooting Thursday in the rural foothills west of Auburn.

While the identity of the victim had not been released by press deadline a suspect in his death was identified as Robert Yandolino during a manhunt that stretched into Rocklin by mid-afternoon.

Yandolino was taken into custody at about 2:30 p.m. after Rocklin Police and other law enforcement surrounded an apartment building near Whitney High School in Rocklin.

Whitney High School had been in lockdown after peace officers located a vehicle at 1:45 p.m. they believed belonged to Yandolino at the Montessa at Whitney Ranch apartment complex near the Rocklin school, Placer County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Dena Erwin said.

The victim died after being shot in the head, Erwin said. The shooting was reported to the Sheriff’s Office at 9:45 a.m.

Placer County Sheriff’s Office investigators had sealed off Oakhurst Way at Gold Hill Road in Newcastle as part of their investigation. More than a dozen law-enforcement vehicles could be seen parked on Oakhurst Way.

Another man was believed by authorities to have been struck by a blunt object – not shot – during the shooting incident and had been taken to Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital with a non-life-threatening injury, Erwin said. He was also not identified.

The manhunt spread out onto the many back roads that wind through rural residential areas and farmland between Auburn, Lincoln and Rocklin. Auburn Police were parked on Mount Vernon Road at city limits in case the suspect’s vehicle made its way toward Interstate 80 or Highway 49.

“We have every available detective and deputy on the roads,” Erwin said Thursday morning.

The Sheriff’s Office was not releasing a possible motive for the shooting incident, which unfolded in a quiet enclave of larger lots and houses developed as Dobbas Ranch Estates. The location is five miles west of Auburn and a mile north of Highway 193 between Auburn and Lincoln.

The homicide was the first in the rural Newcastle area around Gold Hill Road in recent memory.

Nearby resident Rosa Driggers was on a 3-mile run Thursday morning that would have normally taken her off Gold Hill Road onto Oakhurst Way. Instead, she was caught off guard by yellow plastic “crime scene” tape that sealed off the road for the forensic investigation taking place up the hill on Oakhurst Way.

Driggers said she moved from Sacramento partly to escape the more violent atmosphere. Before the move, she had been a victim of a mugging.

On Thursday morning, Driggers said she heard sirens and didn’t think of someone being shot.  She stopped at the plastic tape to learn more about the shooting.

“I was thinking that there was a fire as I had my coffee,” she said. “You don’t often hear sirens. And not for this. It’s shocking.”

Rocklin Herald reporter Andrew Westrope contributed to this story.