Sheriff’s Office: Redwood Valley man dead after possible assault in Mendocino County

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation into the death of 20-year-old Nicholas Shehli Whipple.|

A Redwood Valley man died Wednesday** morning from what investigators believed was a gunshot wound suffered during a physical assault, authorities said Thursday.

Nicholas Shehli Whipple, 20, was found unresponsive after Mendocino County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday to Tabor Lane in Covelo, north of Willits.

A report indicated a man in the area was in need of emergency medical assistance, potentially the result of an assault, according to a news release Thursday from the Sheriff’s Office.

Officers with the Round Valley Tribal Police Department were first to arrive at the scene and found Whipple did not have a pulse and was not breathing. They performed CPR before medical personnel arrived and used “emergency life-saving efforts,” but the man was not revived.

Deputies at the scene noticed Whipple had a possible gunshot wound, according to the release. An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Sheriff’s Office detectives are conducting an investigation into the 20-year-old’s death. Due to the status of the case, the Sheriff’s Office said it cannot release further information.

Anyone with information that can assist Mendocino County Sheriff's Office detectives with the ongoing death investigation are encouraged to contact the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line by calling 707-234-2100 or the WeTip Anonymous Crime Reporting Hotline at 800-782-7463.

**Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to correct an earlier version that had the wrong day Nicholas Shehli Whipple’s was killed.

You can reach Staff Writer Madison Smalstig at On Twitter @madi.smals.

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