As per a conversation with Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Captain Greg Van Patten, at approximately 9:30 p.m. last night deputies were fired upon after responding to reports of a residential burglary on the Mendocino County coast. The suspect is at large and Captain Van Patten told us based on surveillance footage at the burgled residence, investigators believe the shooter to be the same individual described late last month as burglarizing rural homes in Mendocino County.
Captain Van Patten explained that at approximately 9:30 p.m. dispatch received reports from a homeowner that an individual was burglarizing their home in the 3000 block of Cameron Road in the rural town of Elk. The homeowner witnessed the suspect via a surveillance camera.
Deputies responded in approximately 20 minutes combing the area for the suspect, including a frontage logging road adjacent to the residence, Captain Van Patten explained.
Deputies found the subject and a foot pursuit immediately began. Captain Van Patten said the suspect was heard making statements as he ran such as “leave me alone.” One deputy, who Captain Van Patten described as “faster than the other,” began to catch up to the suspect when the suspect fired a gun several times at the pursuing deputy. None of the deputies were hit and they fired back at the suspect. Captain Van Patten said, “We do not believe he was hit.” The suspect then fled into the woods.
In response to the officer-involved shooting, Captain Van Patten said upwards of 20 law enforcement personnel converged on the scene including a multi-agency SWAT team establishing a mile wide perimeter around the suspect’s last known location. Personnel searched the area, in the dark, for three hours to no avail.
Just over two weeks ago, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office published a Facebook post calling for the public’s assistance in finding a suspected burglar describing him as a “person of interest in several burglary investigations within Mendocino County since January of this year.” The Facebook post added he had last been seen “in the area of Elk, Ca and currently may be on the Mendocino Coast.”
Captain Van Patten said surveillance footage gathered from the burglary that occurred last night depicts the same individual described in the Facebook post.
The suspect is described as “a white male adult, about 5’10” in height and 180-pounds, with a red beard. The subject was last seen wearing dark clothing, a knit hat, and carrying a dark backpack. It is presumed the subject is transient and travels on foot.”
The photograph of the individual published along with the Facebook post clearly depicts him with a firearm holster on his hip.
As demonstrated, this individual can be hostile and if a member of the public sees or encounters him, please find a place of safety and contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office at 707-961-2421.
UPDATE 3:41 p.m.: The following statement was issued by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office on their Facebook page regarding the Redbearded Burglar and last night’s officer-involved shooting:
On 05-12-2021 at 9:34 PM Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a burglary in progress at a residence located in the 3000 block of Cameron Road in Elk, California.
Sheriff’s Deputies encountered the suspect (pictured in black/white photos) outside of the residence and he discharged a firearm at one of the Sheriff’s Deputies who returned fire. No one was injured as a result of the exchange of gun fire.
Several local law enforcement agencies responded to the “shots fired” radio call and assisted the Sheriff’s Office in a search of the area for several hours. The search was unsuccessful in locating the suspect.
An active search in Elk is continuing today, as it is believed the suspect is traveling by foot and is still considered to be armed and dangerous.
Sheriff’s Office investigators believe the suspect is the same person depicted in the color photograph taken in early February 2021 in connection with several vandalism/burglaries of cabins in the area of Pine Ridge Road and Low Gap Road in Ukiah, California.
Anyone who knows the identity or whereabouts of the person depicted in the photographs are urged to contacted the Sheriff’s Office by calling 911 (emergency) or 707-463-4086 (non-emergency).
- Mendocino Sheriff Seeks Public Assistance in Identifying Burglar Targeting Remote Low Gap Road Homes