Jeffrey Johnston


An early morning shooting Saturday left one woman dead and another man injured before authorities apprehended a suspect.

On Saturday, May 25, 2019 at approximately 6:30 a.m. the Amador County Sheriff’s Office received a report that two people had been shot at an address on Shake Ridge Road in the unincorporated area of Volcano.

The male caller, whose name has not yet been released, reported that both he and a female companion had been shot. The caller told dispatch he had been able to flee the scene, but he did not know the condition of his companion. The caller stated the person who shot him had fled into a wooded area near the residence.

Upon deputies’ arrival, they surrounded the area and called out to the suspect, who was found inside a residence on the property. 

The male suspect was identified as 64-year-old Jeffrey Johnston of Volcano. Johnston has been arrested, but had injuries that required hospitalization. Johnston was transported by air ambulance to an area hospital for treatment. Upon being medically cleared for incarceration, Johnston will be booked into the Amador County Jail for Murder and Attempted Murder, with a bail amount of $1,000,000.

The 42-year-old male victim of a gunshot wound was also flown by air ambulance to a trauma hospital. Deputies determined that a 39-year-old female, identified as Vanessa Elizabeth Plew, was deceased at the scene. Amador County Sheriff’s Office Detectives responded to the scene for investigation and processing.

No other subjects or weapons are believed to be outstanding; however, the investigation is still ongoing.