Rampage claims life of retired UO prof, NorCal deputy and suspect

Rampage claims life of retired UO prof, NorCal deputy and suspect »Play Video
Ricardo Antonio Chaney (inset) was named a person of interest Thursday in the shooting death of George Wasson, a retired University of Oregon professor found shot to death inside his burning home early Wednesday. Chaney died in a shootout with law enforcement in Northern California that also claimed the life of a sheriff's deputy there.

EUGENE, Ore. - Firefighters found a man shot to death in his burning home early Wednesday morning.

Someone carjacked a BMW at gunpoint 36 minutes later.

More than 9 hours and 400 miles later, a worker at a Northern California tourist attraction exchanged gunfire with an intruder found urinating outside a bathroom.

Sheriff's deputies there joined the chase, pursuing the suspect at speeds up to 100 mph.

He got away.

Then just before noon, a deputy found the suspect, who opened fire with an assault rifle.

Both the deputy and suspect died in the gunfight.

That's the emerging timeline of a crime spree that left confirmed 3 people dead in 2 states over the course of the first 12 hours of March 19, 2014.

Eugene Police on Thursday confirmed that Ricardo Antonio Chaney, 32, of Eugene - the man who fatally shot and killed Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino, 48 - was also a "person of interest" in the death of George Bundy Wasson, the man found shot to death in his burning home near Hendricks Park at 12:36 a.m. Wednesday.

Wasson, 79, was a retired University of Oregon professor, according to neighbors. Chaney was an acquaintance of Wasson's family, police said.

Del Fiorentino, once a wrestling coach at Fort Bragg High School, began as a deputy with Mendocino County in 1988, spent 10 years with the Fort Bragg Police Department and returned to the sheriff's office in 2000.


Murder, fire, carjacking trigger manhunt

Eugene Police said Thursday that Wasson was shot and killed at his Elk Avenue home near Hendricks Park.

Firefighters found Wasson's body while responding to a fire at the home at 12:36 a.m.

Chaney is considered a person of interest in Wasson's death and the suspicious fire, police said.

At 1:12 a.m., a man with a gun stole a black 2006 BMW 330i from two men in their 20s as they left a home in the Kinsrow area of Eugene. The gunman - now believed to be Chaney - forced the two men into the trunk of the car at gunpoint.

The men managed to escape the trunk before the car left the parking lot and called 911.

Investigators issued an all-points bulletin to Oregon and surrounding states.

There were escalating manhunts for Chaney in Oregon and then in California at around 10:30 a.m. when there was an armed confrontation between a civilian worker at a tourist attraction and a man believed to be Chaney.

Two Eugene Police detectives were en route to California when they learned Chaney had shot Deputy Del Fiorentino Fort Bragg, Calif.

Chaney died in a shootout with California law enforcement.

Eugene Police detectives have notified Wasson’s family of the circumstances surrounding his death and also re-contacted the carjacking victims. Both victims reported they were fine and offered heartfelt condolences to the families of Wasson and Del Fiorentino.

Eugene Police are continuing to investigate Wasson’s murder and are working with Mendocino County public safety officials on the related cases.
 

Chaney arrested earlier this month in Eugene on weapon, drug charges

Police had arrested Chaney in Eugene on Thursday, March 6, after finding a modified AR-15, body armor and narcotics inside his car.  It was late that evening when two officers tracked a stolen cell phone to the Monroe Street Park area, Officials said.

Eugene Police said the officers couldn't identify any stolen property in the vehicle and the owner, Ricardo Antonio Chaney, denied them the authority to search it.

Officers later stopped Chaney for a traffic violation and found he did not have vehicle insurance. Police impounded his vehicle, searching its contents. Officers reported finding several firearms, including what appeared to be a a modified AR-15 and body armor, located in the glove box and trunk of the vehicle.

Chaney was booked into the Lane County Jail at around 1 a.m. on March 6 for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Possession of MDMA, according to jailed records. He was released the same day at around 6:40 p.m.

This is a developing story. This story will be updated.