October 1, 2011 6:15 PM
A man suspected in the fatal shootings of a Fort Bragg councilman and a county land trust official was shot and killed Saturday after a massive manhunt in the redwood forests of Northern California, a sheriff’s deputy said.
Deputy Ron Parsons of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department said Aaron Bassler was shot and killed around midday, according to The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat. He said a member of his agency had been involved in the shooting.
Bassler, 35, had been the subject of a manhunt since Councilman Jere Melo and a second man separately confronted him while investigating reports of an illegal marijuana farm outside of town.
Police said Bassler was cultivating some 400 poppy plants and was holed up in a makeshift bunker when he fired on the 69-year-old Melo and a co-worker who escaped and called for help.
Bassler was also wanted in the fatal shooting of Matthew Coleman of the Mendocino County Land Trust. The former Fish and Game Department employee was found dead next to his car on Aug. 11 up the coast from Fort Bragg.
Dozens of local and federal authorities scoured the forests near Fort Bragg, but Bassler eluded them for more than a month. A surveillance photo showed that he was armed with a high-power rifle, and he was believed to have broken into several cabins to steal food and at least two other weapons.
His death comes two days after he fired at deputies. Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said Thursday that he had hoped that Bassler would be captured alive.
“If this ended without another shot being fired,” Allman had said, “we’d all be satisfied.”
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
11965 2111359 44
his path of destiny = It is what it is. 400 poppy plants.
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