Gunshot victim was set to serve

Army Reservist, 25, also had love for outdoors
By: Martha Garcia, Colfax Record Editor
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A 25-year-old Army Reservist lost his life at an El Dorado County lake while on a weekend camping trip Randall Gene Center II, of Colfax, was the victim of a fatal gunshot wound. According to Sgt. Jim Byers, El Dorado County Sheriff’s spokesman, the April 21 shooting is under investigation and an autopsy was to be conducted Tuesday. Byers said the sheriff’s office received a 911 call at 8:10 p.m. Saturday from a camper in the Union Valley Reservoir area reporting another person had been shot. El Dorado Sheriff’s and other personnel who responded to the incident via boat found the campers – and the victim – at the remote fishing lake located in the Crystal Basin Recreation Area of the El Dorado National Forest, about 40 miles northeast of Placerville. Identities of the other parties involved are being withheld pending further investigation. Center was born March 9, 1987 in Walnut Creek, grew up in Cameron Park, attended Ponderosa High School, and had lived in Colfax since 2007, said his mother, Martha Center, of Colfax. Her son, she said, loved the outdoors, camping and hiking. He had also liked birds. “He had a mitred conure named Elvis that he’s had since he was 12 years old” and which Randall hand fed when the bird was a baby, she said. “At 19,” Martha Center said, Randall “proudly enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve as a watercraft operator – a job he prized to no end.” Last week, she said, Randall had started the process of filling out deployment papers for his next assignment. In addition to his mother, Randall Center is survived by his father, Randall Center, and his brother, Patrick Center, who also served in the Army Reserve. His family and friends will remember Randall Center at a private memorial Saturday in Colfax. To help the family meet expenses, donations can made to the Randall Center Memorial Fund at any U.S. Bank, or mailed to P.O. Box 321, Colfax, CA 95713.