Police: Man Who Killed Deputy Suspect In 2nd Case - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Police: Man Who Killed Deputy Suspect In 2nd Case

Posted: Updated:
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - A man who killed a California deputy after a carjacking and attack at a tourist attraction is also a suspect in the slaying of a retired Oregon educator, police said Thursday.
    
Police in Eugene, Ore., were still sifting evidence in the shooting death of 79-year-old George Bundy Wasson, who was found dead in his burning home, police spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin said.
    
However, she said it was more likely than not that he was killed by 32-year-old Ricardo Antonio Chaney.
    
Chaney is also suspected of carjacking two men a short time later outside their home before driving to California, where sheriff's officials say he shot and killed Mendocino County Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino before being shot and killed himself.
    
McLaughlin would not divulge any details of the slaying of Wasson.
    
Authorities responding to the fire around 12:36 a.m. Wednesday in Eugene found his body. The fire was started after Wasson was killed, according to authorities.
    
Wasson was an elder of the Coquille Tribe, a respected teller of tribal legends, and a retired adjunct instructor of anthropology at the University of Oregon.
    
"His guidance and wisdom and living his tribal values certainly set a good example for the students. That is gone now," said Gordon Bettles, steward of the Many National Longhouse at the university where Wasson held a storytelling session on Tuesday.
    
Police said the two carjacking victims escaped and were unharmed.
    
A tearful Sheriff Tom Allman told reporters during a news conference late Wednesday in Fort Bragg, Calif., near the site of the deputy's slaying, that "I wish you weren't here, and I wish I wasn't here."
    
The cause of the rampage still remained unclear Thursday, Capt. Greg Van Patten said as colleagues mourned one of their own. "Today is much harder than yesterday to grasp," he said.
    
The investigation was turned over to the Mendocino County District Attorney's office and it could take weeks before any findings are released, spokesman Mike Geniella said. Autopsies were scheduled for Friday.
    
The Eugene police website shows police contacted Chaney in his car late at night on March 6 after using GPS to track a stolen cellphone to the location. He was homeless and living in his car, McLaughlin said.
    
Chaney refused a request to search the vehicle. After he drove away, police pulled him over for traffic violations. They found he had no insurance and during a search of the vehicle, discovered several firearms, including a modified AR-15 assault-style rifle and body armor, police reported.
    
Chaney was arrested on suspicion of unlawful possession of a firearm and methamphetamine, and booked into Lane County Jail, where records show he was released the same day without being charged.
    
Jail records show Chaney was taken into custody four other times dating back to 2002 on suspicion of assault, interfering with police, disorderly conduct and criminal trespass. The resolution of those cases could not be immediately determined.
    
The crime spree on Wednesday began in Eugene, with the early morning theft of a black, 2006 BMW. The two occupants, men in their 20s, were leaving their house when Chaney forced them into the trunk at gunpoint, police said.
    
They were able to escape before the car left the parking lot, and called 911.
    
About 10 hours after the carjacking, the sheriff's office received a call from an employee of Confusion Hill, a California tourist attraction along Highway 101, about 180 miles north of San Francisco, that offers train rides through redwoods.
    
John Mills, 55, a front-desk worker, said he had found a man - later identified by authorities as Chaney - urinating outside a bathroom in a fenced park area. When Mills told him to leave, Chaney cursed and briefly drove away, but then returned with a double-barreled shotgun, Mills said.
    
"Things went sideways from there," said Mills, who grabbed a baton and hit the shotgun as the attacker came through the entrance, causing the weapon to fire a round into the ground.
    
Mills said Chaney then pointed the shotgun directly at him. Mills said he dropped down and rolled into a kitchen door, as another round was fired.
    
Mills said he got a pistol from the kitchen and shot back at Chaney, who fled to his car and drove away.
    
"Unfortunately, my aim wasn't too good. If I had been better, then he might not have made it to do what he did later," Mills told The Associated Press on Thursday.
    
Chaney was spotted about an hour later by a deputy but got away during a chase that reached speeds of more than 100 mph. He was encountered by Del Fiorentino in Cleone, a rural area with a mix of homes, forest and open fields, a little before noon.
    
Allman said Chaney opened fire with an AK-47-style assault rifle, spraying Del Fiorentino's vehicle with bullets. Fort Bragg police Lt. John Naulty, who was searching for Chaney nearby, heard the gunfire and found Chaney going through the deputy's vehicle, the sheriff said.
    
Chaney fired six or seven rounds at Naulty, who returned fire, Allman said.  Chaney was later found dead.
    
Del Fiorentino, once a wrestling coach at Fort Bragg High School, began as a deputy with Mendocino County in 1988. He spent 10 years with the Fort Bragg Police Department before returning to the sheriff's office in 2000.
    
California Attorney General Kamala Harris paid tribute to him.
    
"His tragic death is a stark reminder of the danger our brave men and women in law enforcement face every day to keep our communities safe," she said in a statement.

Associated Press writers Terry Collins and Sudhin Thanawala in San Francisco contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Barista-stand owner faces prostitution charge

    Barista-stand owner faces prostitution charge

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:10 AM EDT2014-09-01 14:10:27 GMT
    EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - Authorities say the owner of bikini coffee stands in Washington state banked more than $2 million in just three years because her baristas were also selling sex acts. Snohomish County prosecutors charged 52-year-old former nude dancer Carmela Panico with promoting prostitution and money laundering, alleging that she was the madam of drive-thru brothels throughout the county north of Seattle.>>
    EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - Authorities say the owner of bikini coffee stands in Washington state banked more than $2 million in just three years because her baristas were also selling sex acts. Snohomish County prosecutors charged 52-year-old former nude dancer Carmela Panico with promoting prostitution and money laundering, alleging that she was the madam of drive-thru brothels throughout the county north of Seattle.
    >>
  • Throwback Thursday! Look At 'Sunshine Shelly' Through The Years!

    Throwback Thursday! Look At 'Sunshine Shelly' Through The Years!

    Thursday, March 20 2014 1:04 PM EDT2014-03-20 17:04:11 GMT
    KHQ.COM - It's throwback Thursday! Here is a slideshow we would like to share of Shelly Monahan through the years! For those of you who have been in Spokane for many years, and saw her through her "Sunshine Shelly" days, you will probably remember the Shelly from back in those days. Enjoy!>>
    KHQ.COM - It's throwback Thursday! Here is a slideshow we would like to share of Shelly Monahan through the years! For those of you who have been in Spokane for many years, and saw her through her "Sunshine Shelly" days, you will probably remember the Shelly from back in those days. Enjoy!>>
  • Joan Rivers' daughter: 'Keeping our fingers crossed'

    Joan Rivers' daughter: 'Keeping our fingers crossed'

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:33 AM EDT2014-09-01 14:33:34 GMT
    KHQ.COM - The Today Show has reported that Joan Rivers is now on life support. River's went into cardiac arrest at a New York doctor's office while she underwent a "minor throat surgery" on Thursday. Melissa Rivers said in a statement Sunday that "we are keeping our fingers crossed." She's thanking people for expressing their support.

    >>
    KHQ.COM - The Today Show has reported that Joan Rivers is now on life support. River's went into cardiac arrest at a New York doctor's office while she underwent a "minor throat surgery" on Thursday. Melissa Rivers said in a statement Sunday that "we are keeping our fingers crossed." She's thanking people for expressing their support.

    >>
  • National NewsMore>>

  • UPDATE: Joan Rivers 'Resting Comfortably' at Mount Sinai in New York

    UPDATE: Joan Rivers 'Resting Comfortably' at Mount Sinai in New York

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:45 AM EDT2014-08-29 04:45:02 GMT
    NEW YORK (AP) - Comedian Joan Rivers is in a New York City hospital, according to police and hospital officials who say she was rushed there from a doctor's office after going into cardiac arrest.Rivers' daughter later issued a statement about her mother's condition.>>
    NEW YORK (AP) - Comedian Joan Rivers is in a New York City hospital, according to police and hospital officials who say she was rushed there from a doctor's office after going into cardiac arrest.Rivers' daughter later issued a statement about her mother's condition.
    >>
  • VA: No proof delays in veteran care caused hospital deaths

    VA: No proof delays in veteran care caused hospital deaths

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 9:11 PM EDT2014-08-27 01:11:37 GMT
    KHQ.COM- The Department of Veterans Affairs says there's no proof that delays in care caused any deaths at the VA hospital in Phoenix, Ariz.Revelations that as many as 40 veterans died while awaiting care rocked the agency this past spring, bringing to light scheduling problems and allegations of misconduct at other hospitals as well.NBC News obtained a draft report from the VA's Office of Inspector General Tuesday. The draft report says while investigators found substantial delays in care an...>>
    KHQ.COM- The Department of Veterans Affairs says there's no proof that delays in care caused any deaths at the VA hospital in Phoenix, Ariz.Revelations that as many as 40 veterans died while awaiting care rocked the agency this past spring, bringing to light scheduling problems and allegations of misconduct at other hospitals as well.NBC News obtained a draft report from the VA's Office of Inspector General Tuesday. The draft report says while investigators found substantial delays in care an...>>
  • UPDATE: Sergeant who shot herself at Fort Lee dies

    UPDATE: Sergeant who shot herself at Fort Lee dies

    Monday, August 25 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-08-25 22:58:27 GMT
    Police officer patrols the entrance of Fort Lee in VirginiaPolice officer patrols the entrance of Fort Lee in Virginia
    FORT LEE, Va. (AP) - A commanding general at a Virginia Army base says an enraged soldier with a gun barricaded herself in an office, then shot herself in the head as officials tried to negotiate with her.>>
    FORT LEE, Va. (AP) - A commanding general at a Virginia Army base says an enraged soldier with a gun barricaded herself in an office, then shot herself in the head as officials tried to negotiate with her. Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lyons says the soldier went on a rampage, throwing objects. >>