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Mendocino County deputy's fatal shooting rocks quiet Fort Bragg neighborhood

CLEONE — Little evidence remained Thursday morning of the shootings that left a deputy and his suspected killer dead in a rural subdivision north of Fort Bragg.

Some shattered glass, a small patch of dried blood and several round silver markers were all that remained on the narrow street where veteran Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino on Wednesday was gunned down in his police vehicle by an Oregon fugitive who earlier had kidnapped two people and fled into California in their BMW. The suspect, Ricardo Antonio Chaney, 32,was killed shortly afterward during a gun battle with a Fort Bragg Police lieutenant.

Otherwise, the wooded neighborhood appeared serene, a lush sanctuary where rhododendrons and wisteria are in full bloom and the sound of chirping birds filled the air.

Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy Fatally Shot

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The shootings took place directly in front of a home where Judy Burdick, a teacher, and her parents live. She was in Fort Bragg when the shootout occurred and, like the other neighbors, was told to stay in Fort Bragg overnight.

Roger Scott of Montana was staying at his brother's house just up the road when the shooting started just before noon.

"There must have been 60 rounds" fired in three rapid bursts, he said. "It was really scary."

Residents were told to stay inside and the Scotts complied, so they did not see what was happening. But they did see law enforcement officers swarm the neighborhood.

"I've never seen so many officers in my life," said Scott's wife, Darien.

The law enforcement staging area on Highway 1 across from the Cleone store — the town's only business — was cleared out Thursday morning. Wednesday night, there were 40 to 50 law enforcement officials from several counties and agencies gathered at the site.

The sheriff's substation in Fort Bragg also was quiet Thursday and appeared normal except for a small memorial to the fallen deputy.

Candles, Easter lilies, roses, candles and a purple teddy bear were left at the base of a lamp post outside the station.


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