Editor’s note: This is a developing situation and details are somewhat sparse. We’re updating as info comes in.
UPDATE 2:50 p.m. — One suspect in the alleged Covelo robbery and kidnapping, who fled from deputies is dead in an apparent suicide, and the two others are in custody after an afternoon car chase and brief manhunt, according to Sheriff Matt Kendall. One other suspect surrendered to deputies earlier in the chase, and is now in the hospital with chest pains, while the second was arrested after a search up a dirt road.
Details of the initial story can be read below. According to the sheriff, after running up the dirt road, one of the kidnapping victims managed to free himself, and jump out of the car. He was shot while running down the road away from his kidnappers.
Once the two alleged robber-kidnappers had fled on foot into an area of dense brush law enforcement surrounded the area and a CHP helicopter flew in from Willows. With the helicopter overhead, deputies procured the department’s Bearcat armored vehicle and made their way up the dirt road towards the suspects. After a stand-off one of the suspects surrendered coming towards deputies with his hands up. Then multiple shots were heard and, according to Kendall, the second suspect was found dead, apparently by his own hand.
The area is now clear, and the manhunt is over. All three kidnapped men were freed, though one sustain a bullet wound.
UPDATE 2:00 p.m. — Two suspects in an alleged robbery and kidnapping remain outstanding, after a car chase, near the Mendocino-Lake county line off SR-20. A CHP helicopter was circling the area for some time but has left.
We have a bit more information on the situation than in the previous post. According to Sheriff Kendall, it appears that at three men attempted an armed robbery near Covelo, and took three other men captive. One of these men managed to escape and flagged down a Cal Fire truck, and the firefighters then called in the incident.
Deputies then identified the two vehicles described and pursued them on the 20. One suspect stopped and was placed in custody without incident. That man has been transported to the hospital complaining of chest pains, and remains hospitalized, but is expected to be booked once medically cleared.
The chase for the second vehicle, an SUV, continued, and those suspects turned off the 20, onto a dirt road, somewhere in the vicinity of the “Buffalo Ranch,” east of the entrance to Potter Valley. At some point they either crashed their car, or bailed, and proceeded on foot in an area of dense and tall brush. They remain outstanding are believed to be armed with long guns, and wearing tactical gear.
After these suspects bailed, on other kidnapping victim manage to escape, and a second was later found, thoroughly bound with zip-tie style restrains. One of these kidnapped men had been shot in the back.
SWAT was called in to assist in the search for the suspects, and the search continues as of 2:00 p.m.
MENDOCINO Co., 9/27/20 — Law enforcement officers are searching for armed men, in tactical gear on foot near the Mendocino-Lake county line after a car chase and shooting.
According to Sheriff Matt Kendall, the situation began with a call from fire personnel near Covelo who reported a potential armed robbery, with two vehicles fleeing the area. Some time later deputies near Lake Mendocino spotted the vehicles traveling east on on SR-20 and gave chase.
One vehicle was stopped and a man arrested without incident. However, the second vehicle, an SUV, continued to flee and eventually traveled up a dirt road off the 20, somewhere east of the entrance to Potter Valley in the 7800 block of the 20.
Deputies were unable to pursue but apparently the SUV crashed. At that point a man who had apparently been kidnapped and was bound in the bank of the SUV managed to escape and ran down the the hill to meet law enforcement. This man had been shot in the back and is now receiving medical attention. According to Kendall, this first kidnapping victim reported that a second person was still in the car with the suspects.
Calls have gone out over the scanner for swat, given that the men are reported to be armed with long guns, and in some kind of tactical gear. A search is occurring for the men, and law enforcement have requested a reverse 911 call for people who live in the vicinity of the 7800 block of SR-20 to inform them of the dangerous situation.
The following notice was sent to people in the area via Nixle:
SHELTER IN PLACE ACTIVE INVESTIGATION IN AREA OF 7800 HWY 20 UKIAH TWO OUTSTANDING SUSPECTS ON FOOT IN AREA . IF YOU SEE ANYONE SUSPICIOUS DO NOT APPROACH, CALL 911. SUSPECTS ARE POSSIBLY ARMED AND DANGEROUSMCSO via Nixle
We’ll continue to update.