KEY POINTS

  • Jack Gershman, 15, hid from a gunman who ambushed him and his dad, Ari Gershman, at the Tahoe National Forest
  • He survived 30 hours in the wilderness and was rescued without requiring medical treatment
  • Deputies of the Sierra County Sheriff's Office have a man in custody for the shooting

A 15-year-old boy managed to survive a 30-hour ordeal in the California wilderness after evading a gunman who killed his father in an ambush at the Tahoe National Forest.

Jack Gershman was rescued by the Sierra County Sheriff's Office on Saturday, July 4, and was generally in good health when he was found. The boy did not require medical treatment except for some bug bites. Officials are still trying to understand how the teenager survived in the Sierra wilderness for more than a day without any provisions.

His father, Dr. Ari Gershman, a pulmonary specialist from Danville, California, was killed on Friday, with a gunshot to the chest.

Tahoe_National_Forest Representational image. Photo: Carol M. Highsmith/Public Domain

Jack used his cellphone to report that his father has been shot and that he was able to run away from the gunman but had got lost in the wilderness, Fox News reported.  Around that same time, deputies from the sheriff's office were also looking into another report of a shooting in the wilderness, in which two people were wounded but would reportedly survive.

A spokesperson from the sheriff's office said that both shooting incidents were in the same area and happened within minutes of each other. The deputies were able to hold a man in custody after an ATV chase. His identity was not released to the press.

The gunman who shot Ari Gershman was also reportedly in an ATV. "They (Ari and Jack) heard an ATV come up behind them and they were going to ask for directions," Marlo Meyer-Berer, a cousin of the doctor, told Fox5dc. "He turned around to ask the guy for directions and he opened fire on the Jeep."

Ari was hit on the chest but reportedly stepped on the gas to get away from the gunman. The doctor was able to park his vehicle so that his son could get out and run away from the attacker. Jack hid in the bushes as he waited for rescuers.

Ari had taken Jack to the Tahoe National Forest for a weekend off-roading trip to test their new Jeep. His wife, Paige, is fighting cancer. The Gershmans have two other children. Relatives and friends have set up a fundraising page for the family.