The work in the wooded hills and valleys is done. Now the Fort Bragg murder saga moves into the courtroom.
The Mendocino County District Attorney's Office is reviewing the events that led up to the fatal shooting of Aaron Bassler, 35, by a pair of Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputies, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
Bassler was on the run from the law since, authorities think, he killed two people with a high-powered rifle. Matthew Coleman, 45, was killed on Aug. 11 near Rockport, and Fort Bragg City Councilman Jere Melo, 69, was killed Aug. 27 when he was looking for renegade marijuana gardens, one of which Bassler was allegedly guarding.
Bassler, skilled in survival tactics and familiar with the woods since his childhood, hid in the woods from authorities for nearly a month before he was cornered by deputies and shot.
He allegedly shot at deputies on Sept. 29 before a 27-person commando team, with body armor, high-powered rifles and sniper skills, went into the woods after him. On Saturday, Bassler emerged from the woods and was shot seven times.
Law enforcement defended the decision to fire without warning, as did some law professors.
However, the DA must conduct a full investigation, which is expected to take some two months.