Second update: Veteran Mendocino deputy killed, suspect found dead; massive manhunt shuts down Highway 1

The Oregon man who shot and killed Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino is believed to have died from wounds he received in a gunfire with law enforcement, not by suicide, as was initially believed, officials said today.

Sheriff Tom Allman was meeting with investigators this morning in the ongoing investigation of the events that led up to the deputy's shooting death.

Suspect Ricardo Antonio Chaney, 32, reportedly stole a BMW in Eugene, Ore., in the early morning hours of Wednesday, He stopped two men who were leaving their apartment and forced them into the trunk of their car at gunpoint. They popped the trunk and escaped before Chaney had driven out of the parking lot and called 911, according to the Eugene Police Department.

Earlier story:

A veteran Mendocino deputy was killed in a rural area north of Fort Bragg just before noon Wednesday when he was shot in his patrol car by a suspect wanted out of Oregon, who was involved in a high-speed chase that began near Leggett.

The ensuing manhunt involving several law enforcement agencies closed Highway 1 and left the bucolic community of Cleone under siege for several hours.

Mendocino County Sheriff Thomas Allman said that Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino's patrol car was "riddled with bullets." He died in the driver's seat. A Fort Bragg resident who coached high school wrestling, Del Fiorentino would have turned 49 on May 28. He started with the sheriff's office in 1988 before moving over to the Fort Bragg Police Department two years later, then returned to the sheriff's office in 2000.

The suspect, 32-year-old Oregon resident Ricardo Antonio Chaney, was later found dead.

"It appears as if the suspect committed suicide," Allman said.

Chaney exchanged gunfire with Fort Bragg Police Department Lt. John Nauldy, who responded after hearing the shots, and found Chaney riffling through Del Fiorentino's vehicle, Allman said. Chaney ran into the brush and was found with Del Fiorentino's sidearm. He suffered a gunshot wound to the leg, but it's unknown when he was hit, Allman said.

Allman said Chaney is suspected in a crime spree that began in Eugene, Ore., early Wednesday morning with an armed robbery. He forced the owners of a 2006 black BMW into the trunk before stealing the car, but they were able to escape.

Chaney is also suspected of brandishing a shotgun at Confusion Hill around 10:30 a.m. The owner had confronted Chaney for urinating outside the landmark attraction and escorted him away, but saw him return wearing a "hoodie" and acting in a suspicious manner. The owner armed himself with a baseball bat and struck Chaney as he entered, causing the gun to fall out of his clothing and discharge. The owner then went into another room, Allman said.

Chaney shot once through the locked door before fleeing. The business owner fired at the black BMW as it left, and then called 911, Allman said.

The car was spotted by a Mendocino County Sheriff's Office deputy on Highway 1 south of Leggett, and a high-speed chase ensued, reaching speeds up to 100 mph on the winding, coastal route. Deputies lost sight of the vehicle before reaching Fort Bragg, and officers there reported the car had not made it to the city, sending the search back up Highway 1 to the area of Cleone, which is a gateway to MacKerricher State Park.

Del Fiorentino joined in the search, and came "face to face" with Chaney on a rural road.

Allman remembered Del Fiorentino as a brave deputy who was dedicated to his community, and recalled the last words he spoke to him.

"Ricky, I wish we could clone 30 more of you," Allman said, recounting the conversation. "And he said, 'The world's not ready for that.'"

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