Two violent encounters terrify Adobe Canyon neighbors
Events not linked, but happened close together
The first trouble started late Thursday night, Dec. 1, in the vicinity of the 2000 block of Adobe Canyon Road, as a husband and wife interrupted a burglary in progress at their remote home. Seeing the front door ajar, the husband entered the house – a decision he would later regret – only to be knocked unconscious by a masked man just inside the door.
The burglar then fled, running straight at the wife, who was standing beside their car. She was faster, quickly eluded the intruder, and called 911 just after midnight. An emergency crew from Kenwood Fire Department found the husband unconscious with severe head injuries. He was taken by ambulance to a Santa Rosa hospital.
Evidence of a burglary in progress was found. Items had been collected in the garage to be removed, but there had been no other vehicle in the driveway when the couple came home that night. The incident is still under investigation.
On Dec. 2, in what seems to be an unrelated event, a domestic dispute turned bloody when a woman asked her boyfriend to leave their shared residence.
“We’re aware of a call for service at the neighbor’s house the night before the (domestic violence) incident; however, we found no connection or correlation to the incident we investigated,” said Sonoma Sheriff’s Lieutenant Tim Duke on Dec. 12.
All parties to both events wish to remain anonymous, but related their stories to the Kenwood Press to keep the facts straight, as rumors abound in any small town.
Dec. 2 proved to be a nightmare for a woman seeking to reclaim her household after a long-term relationship deteriorated to the point where the partner, Randall “Randy” Allen Farris, 56, shot himself.
The woman told her story of fear, survival and a brother’s heroism.
She and Farris moved to Kenwood, shortly after becoming partners following an eight-year friendship. She had a job in the area and the two set out on their new relationship. She was aware that Farris had an alcohol problem and knew his rough childhood may have included abuse of some sort.
While things were OK at first, “It came to a point where I felt it wasn’t a healthy relationship,” she said. “I got my sibling who lives in Santa Rosa for extra help. We told Randy the night before that we’d like him to leave and offered to help him move with a trailer and stuff. He was in shock.”
The sister had the residence in her name and felt it was Farris’ responsibility to leave.
“I knew that he was upset, that I was everything in his world. I think he felt that if he couldn’t have me, nobody could.”
The brother and sister left the property Friday morning to give Farris time to gather his thoughts and perhaps get his stuff together. She also called a number of “key” people to let them know what was going on.
Farris seemed to have deteriorated while they were gone.
The siblings agreed to park away from the home, and she left her keys in the car before they went inside. She became more upset with Farris’ behavior in the house and the group moved outside.
She felt then that Farris’ state of mind was unstable and started to walk away.
Farris said, “So that’s how it’s going to be? I’m gonna do it.”
At that point, Farris went back into the house. He got two .22 caliber guns that the sister owned. She said they were family heirlooms.
After he came outside, Farris approached the siblings and drew the gun.
“I’m going to shoot you both,” Farris threatened, pointing the gun at each one in turn.
He cocked it and shot the brother twice. At that point, the brother tackled his assailant and yelled for his sister to call 911. The sister ran to their car.
“They were fighting on the ground,” she said. “I drove the car, heading toward them, and clipped Randy on the shoulder. I managed to do that effectively.”
When the brother wrestled the gun away, Farris pulled out the second pistol.
“They shot it out in the yard until my brother ran out of bullets,” she recalled. “He then threw wood, gas cans and anything else at Randy.”
The brother thinks Farris went back to the house to reload, at which point he ran down the road, wounded three times in the head and once in the abdomen. The sister drove to a neighbor, who called 911 and had her hide. In a few minutes, the brother came down to the neighbor’s house, bleeding. He said Farris had driven away, and remembers watching him drive by at a normal pace, “like he was just going shopping.”
First responders came from Kenwood Fire Department with the assistance of a CALFIRE armed deputy. They immediately looked after the brother and notified police that they had seen the perpetrator driving out of Adobe Canyon.
“Three sheriffs came on the scene. One took my deposition and gave me a hug afterward,” she said, noting that her neighbor was also “super supportive.”
A Sheriff’s deputy and a Santa Rosa police officer cornered Farris at Melita Road and Highway 12, where he drove down Melita a little way, stopped, and got out of the car with a gun in his hand, according to the latest police report. He didn’t point it at anyone, got back in the car and drove a short distance before police heard a “pop” and the car swerved off the road, down a culvert, through some vegetation, and finally ran into a house.
Farris had a gunshot wound to the head and was alive when transported to a hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
“I guess I was afraid because I knew how strongly he felt about the relationship and he didn’t want to face the end,” said the sister. “When people get desperate, they do desperate things. He didn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.
“This is a major loss for me. Randy had family and friends he could have gone to, but he didn’t feel he could do that. The man meant well and liked to be a good natured person. He liked to help people, helped people more than himself, obviously had ongoing internal issues.”
As of this writing, the neighbor injured the night before is home and recovering well, and the brother is also out of the hospital, although still carrying two bullets in his head, which doctors are reluctant to remove.