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Deputies shoot, kill suspected kidnapper near Guerneville

A kidnapping suspect was shot and killed by a Sonoma County sheriff's deputy in Guerneville late Thursday night after he reportedly terrorized a woman confined in his car — apparently unaware she was texting to a friend who relayed her pleas for help to law enforcement, authorities said.

An ensuing pursuit by Sonoma County sheriff's deputies that began on Guerneville Road in Santa Rosa ended when the man, identified as Richard Shreckengaust, 37, lost control of the car on Odd Fellows Park Road in Guerneville, about a mile from Highway 116, authorities said.

The woman fled from the car after it crashed into an embankment. Shreckengaust was shot "two to three times" as he sat in the driver's seat of the car, according to a prepared statement issued Friday by Santa Rosa Police Capt. Craig Schwartz.

The sheriff's deputy who fired the fatal shots feared that Shreckengaust was reaching for a weapon, Schwartz wrote. None was found in the vehicle.

Schwartz said Shreckengaust resided in Marin County. Property records show a person matching that name and age in Greenbrae.

Schwartz did not identify the kidnapping victim or the deputy who fired the fatal shots.

The woman and Shreckengaust had known each other socially since January, but they were not dating or in a romantic relationship, Schwartz wrote.

Shreckengaust picked up the woman Thursday night and the pair smoked marijuana. Schwartz reported that the woman became frightened when Shreckengaust began acting bizarrely and made statements about having explosives in the car.

Shreckengaust refused the woman's request to be dropped off in Terra Linda and instead drove north on Highway 101 toward Sonoma County, saying he had to bring her to the Bohemian Grove.

At about 10:25 p.m., a friend of the woman contacted San Rafael police to report that she was sending text messages saying that she was being kidnapped, Schwartz wrote.


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