Sighting of Bassler Near His Mother's has Fort Bragg on Alert
Sighted this morning at 8:15 near the home of his mother, Aaron Bassler, the suspect in two recent homicides that have rocked Mendocino Co. continues to elude capture. According to the SF Gate, “[m]ore than 50 law enforcement officers are combing a neighborhood on the eastern edge of Fort Bragg today. “It was a positive sighting,” Capt. Kurt Smallcombm spokesperson for the Mendocino Sheriff said. “We have reason to believe he’s still right in that general area.”
A reverse 911 call went out about 10:45am to the area stating that there was a homicide suspect in the area, lock your doors and windows and stay inside. (From Press Democrat)
The Press Democrat states, “the house…was soon swarmed by patrol cars, a helicopter, a command vehicle, an ambulance and other emergency vehicles. Deputies and officers surrounded the area, many with their guns drawn. The agencies included Mendocino County Sheriff, California Highway Patrol and the U.S. Marshals Service. At about 4 p.m. a group of men in camouflage bulletproof vests and helmets, and with weapons, walked down the road toward Bassler’s mother’s house. Law enforcement officials appear to be searching the area and staging operations at his mother’s house.
Bassler is wanted for the homicide of Fort Bragg Councilman, Jere Melo and well known community member, Matthew Coleman.
UPDATE: 6:10 Sept 4: The Fort Bragg Advocate News is reporting that “The Sheriff’s Office is asking that anyone who lives in the area either stay in Fort Bragg or lock their doors this evening. Searches will continue around the clock.”
UPDATE: 8: Sept 4: The Press Democrat updated it’s story with fresh information. The most pertinent is–
The deputies had verbal contact with Bassler, who ran away and into the forest. They then sent a police dog after him, and the dog made some type of contact, though it is unknown if the dog injured Bessler, who escaped, Smallcomb said.
The house on Sherwood Road east of town is located about a mile from the spot along the Skunk Train rail line where Bassler is suspected of shooting forester and Fort Bragg Councilman Jere Melo nine days ago.
Bassler’s mother was home at the time her son was sighted Sunday, but Smallcomb said officials do not believe they had any contact.
UPDATE 8:50 Sept 4: The Fort Bragg Advocate posted an update: ” At 8:30 p.m. Sheriff’s Capt. Kurt Smallcomb said searches in the forest near the 30,000 block of Sherwood Road are continuing “as we speak.” Smallcomb corrected a previous report that Bassler was last seen in dark clothing, but that he was, in fact, wearing camouflage clothing when spotted by law enforcement personnel. Smallcomb said a police K9 was able to catch Bassler for a moment before he slipped away. Smallcomb reminded residents in that area to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings. Residents are urged to call 911 at the first sign of suspicious activity.”