Sheriff’s officials report that a deputy has been shot and killed by a suspect in the Cleone area, just north of Fort Bragg in Mendocino County.
Mendocino Sheriff’s Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino was found dead in his car. It is believed the suspect shot Del Fiorentino and then took his weapon.
It happened just after noon during a car chase.
We’re told it began on Highway 101 near Leggett and ended with the shooting on Highway 1 in Cleone, which is just north of Fort Bragg.
The suspect is dead; authorities believe the cause was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He also had a gunshot wound on his leg, possibly from an exchange of gunfire with another law enforcement officer, a lieutenant from the Fort Bragg Police Department.
Highway 1 has been closed, but sheriff’s department officials say it should reopen within the hour.
Students in the Fort Bragg Unified School District are being held until police consider the scene to be secure and safe to send them home.
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