Kayakers shot at, held at gunpoint in northwest Arizona - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Kayakers shot at, held at gunpoint in northwest Arizona

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Kayakers were shot at in Arizona. (Source: Mohave County Sheriff's Office) Kayakers were shot at in Arizona. (Source: Mohave County Sheriff's Office)

An Arizona man is charged with 15 felonies after allegedly firing at four kayakers and holding them at gunpoint as they paddled past his property. A search for one of the kayakers who escaped lasted 19 hours before he was found “in good health.”

According to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, four friends said they were kayaking from Flagstaff down Burro Creek when they heard a gunshot and saw an elderly man along the water’s bank with a “large silver gun.”

The kayakers reported that Danny Button, 66, fired four more rounds, with one hitting the water near the lead kayaker. He started paddling “extremely fast” and got away from Button, who forced the others out of the water at gunpoint, deputies said.

The kayakers, held by Button, begged him to let them go to look for their friend, fearing for his safety. Button told them they were on his property and later ordered them to grab their boats and walk back to their campgrounds.  

The sheriff’s office said at about 3:32 p.m. Saturday, deputies found two of the kayakers at the Burro Creek Campgrounds. They found a third at a landing, waiting for the fourth, who hadn’t returned.

A Search and Rescue team began to look for the fourth kayaker.

At about 10:30 a.m. Sunday, the 47-year-old man was found in good health, about seven miles south of Burro Creek Campgrounds, the sheriff’s office said.

The man reported hearing a couple gunshots before realizing he was the target. He told officers he rolled his kayak upside down as shots were fired and stayed beneath it as long as possible.

According to the sheriff’s office report, he later got back into his kayak and paddled to safety, camping out after sunset.

Officers found Button at about 10 p.m. and arrested him shortly after. Police said his .45 caliber Ruger revolver was taken as evidence. He told police he was target shooting on his property and then said the kayakers were trespassing.

He’s charged with three counts of unlawful imprisonment, three counts of kidnapping, three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, three counts of endangerment, disorderly conduct with a weapon, endangerment and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. All are felonies. 

Deputies confirmed that property owners do not have rights to waterways. 

About 30 Search and Rescue members, the Department of Public Safety Kingman Ranger, DPS Flagstaff Ranger at the scene.

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