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Calif. Deputy Killed by Suspected Carjacker

March 20, 2014  | 

A crime spree that began in Eugene, Ore., ended north of Fort Bragg, Calif., Wednesday when Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino, 48, came face-to-face with an armed suspect who shot and killed him. The suspect was killed later that day.

Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said suspect Richard Antonio Cheney, 32, stole a BMW in Eugene, Ore., in the early morning hours of March 19, forcing the two owners into the trunk and driving south.

At 11:38 a.m., MCSO Lt. Greg Stefani spotted the stolen vehicle on Highway 1 near mile marker 77, between Leggett and Fort Bragg. A chase ensued and reached speeds of more than 100 miles per hour, and Cheney crossed double-yellow lines on blind corners as he sped south toward Fort Bragg, Allman told the North Coast Journal.

Stefani lost sight of the driver and notified the Fort Bragg Police Department, which advised him the suspect had not entered the city. Authorities began searching the area north of Fort Bragg.

At 11:51 a.m., MCSO Deputy Del Fiorentino turned onto Park Drive about 3.5 miles north of Fort Bragg, and came face to face with the BMW and Cheney.

When authorities arrived, "Deputy Del Fiorentino's car was riddled with rifle (fire), and Deputy Del Fiorentino was deceased in the driver's seat of the patrol car," Allman said.

Lt. John Naulty of the Fort Bragg Police Department heard gunfire and came around the corner to find Cheney rifling through the deputy's car and taking Del Fiorentino's sidearm from his holster, Allman said.

Cheney reportedly fired six or seven rounds at Naulty, who returned fire, according to Allman. The lieutenant and the suspect exchanged 10 to 15 rounds, he said, and the suspect escaped into the brush.

The suspect was found dead in the area with a gunshot wound to his leg, Allman said. He said it isn't known how Cheney got the gunshot wound, but that he assumes it was from the gunfire exchange with Naulty.

The two people who were reportedly abducted by the suspect managed to escape at some point during the incident.

Comments (8)

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Retired Chief @ 3/20/2014 1:25 PM

Come on let the MSM say "suspected" This POS killed a brother. Screw the political correctness and call this scum what is was

Mark @ 3/20/2014 4:07 PM

Glad the POS was killed. Wish all cop killers were dealt like this. Hope the bastard suffered . So sorry for the loss of the brave Deputy.
R.I.P. Deputy Del Florentino and God bless your family.

TERRY F. ZECH VAPD(RET) @ 3/20/2014 4:49 PM

All suspects that kill LEO's need to have the big green needle stuck in their arms the day after they do it. We would have the crooks thinking about it maybe a little, or hang them in public I bet that would create some maybe I better not do that thinking.

Louie Enrique @ 3/20/2014 6:59 PM

God bless our brave men and women in law enfircement! . Our prayers to you DS Ofc Florentino, your family and agency. Thank you so very much. Rest in peace and your with god now.

Debbie @ 3/20/2014 9:31 PM

This officer is one that patrols in my area. He was a wonderful guy. Kudos to the Fort Bragg Officer that killed the dirtbag.

Morning Eagle @ 3/21/2014 2:01 AM

Killer found dead from a leg wound, good, I hope it hurt like H*** while he was bleeding out. Good thing he wasn't found sooner because then they would have been obligated to get medical care for him. I have no sympathy for people that kill or try to kill law enforcement officers. It is a choice they make and they should have to pay the price with their own life. And I do not mean sitting on death row for fifteen or twenty years appealing their "inhumane" sentence.
As always, too often, we again send our hearts out to the family, friends, and co-workers of another murdered officer. R.I.P. Deputy Florentino.

S.S. @ 3/21/2014 5:07 AM

R.I.P. Officer Defiorentino. May GOD bless you, your family, and your family in blue. My deepest condolences.

tedb @ 3/21/2014 7:27 AM

I was born at Rockport, right near the scene of this ambush, so know the turf. It's a remote coastal area with lots of woods and difficult to cover. God bless the MCSO and help them and the Deputy's family in this time of loss. As to the FBPD Lieutenant...a job well done! Too many of these maggots sit on the "Row" until the do-gooders can find a sissy judge to overturn the sentence or there is a shortage of joyjuice and it becomes impossible to execute them "humanely". Fry the bastards or save court costs as was done in this case.

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