Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Captain Greg Van Patten has confirmed that one man was found dead from a gunshot wound early this morning on a cannabis farm northwest of Laytonville in the 59000 block of Bell Springs Road. Law enforcement has detained two subjects associated with the property and one deputy has been hospitalized suffering from what could be a broken bone.
Captain Van Patten told us MCSO was originally informed of the circumstances early this morning at around 1:45 when the reporting party heard gunshots, checked out the property where the gunshots originated and came across a male visibly injured. Initially, the reporting party was not sure if the male was suffering from a gunshot wound or a dog attack. The reporting party told dispatch he was going to go back and check on the person and found them “no longer breathing,” said Captain Van Patten.
As deputies were dispatched to the scene, information was provided by the reporting party that the property where the decedent was located had upwards of 4-5 subjects on it and was an active cannabis farm. Whether the farm is permitted or unpermitted, Captain Van Patten could not say.
Captain Van Patten stated that at approximately 3:00 a.m. deputies arrived at the scene and confirmed the male was deceased from a gunshot wound.
As law enforcement investigated the property, a deputy saw a subject running down a canyon. Captain Van Patten explained a California Highway Patrol helicopter was requested to assist in the search for the fleeing subject. At approximately 6:00 a.m., the crew from the CHP helicopter based in Redding successfully located a fleeing subject and held them at gunpoint from overhead while ground forces converged taking the subject into custody. While this subject was being detained, Captain Van Patten said another subject was seen hiding nearby and officers were able to detain them as well.
Captain Van Patten added that at this point, it is unclear what the connection is between the two detained subjects and the homicide.
Investigations into this crime are ongoing and the County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team and MCSO’s detective unit are still on the property trying to piece together what led up to the homicide, said Captain Van Patten.