A six-week manhunt resulted in a gunfight Thursday afternoon between Alameda County Sheriff's deputies and Aaron Bassler, a suspect in a Mendocino County killing who has been at large in the redwoods of Northern California.
A group of deputies from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office arrived Sunday to back up Mendocino County authorities, who have been searching for Bassler since Aug. 27 in connection with the fatal shooting of Fort Bragg City Councilman Jere Melo.
Bassler has been at large in the redwoods outside of Fort Bragg since the shooting.
About noon Thursday, three deputies crossed paths with Bassler, who opened fire on them, Alameda County Sheriff's spokesman J.D. Nelson said Thursday night.
The deputies returned fire, Nelson said.
He did not know the exact location of the incident, but said no injuries have been reported.
Authorities are still searching for Bassler.
The three deputies have been placed on administrative leave while authorities investigate what is now an officer-involved shooting.
Melo, who also worked as a security contractor, and a co-worker at a private timber company confronted Bassler while investigating reports of an illegal marijuana farm outside of town.
Police say Bassler was cultivating some 400 poppy plants and was holed up in a makeshift bunker when he fired on the 69-year-old Melo and the co-worker, who escaped and called for help.
The subsequent massive
Bassler is also being sought in the fatal Aug. 11 shooting of Matthew Coleman. Bassler's father, James Bassler, said he believes his son suffers from schizophrenia.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.