FORT BRAGG (CBS / AP) — More than 2,000 people braved fierce rain to honor a veteran Mendocino County sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed by an Oregon man during a crime spree that began in Eugene a week ago.
The memorial service for Ricky Del Fiorentino started at dawn Wednesday with hundreds of patrol cars making a solemn 58-mile procession from the county seat of Ukiah to a school auditorium in Fort Bragg where the overflow crowd spilled into the gym and a tent outside.
The 48-year-old deputy had worked on the North Coast for 26 years, first as a Fort Bragg police officer and then for the sheriff’s department.
Ricardo Chaney, the 32-year-old suspect accused of killing Del Fiorentino and a retired University of Oregon anthropology instructor in Eugene last week, was shot to death by a Fort Bragg officer.
Poor weather prevented Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris from attending the funeral.
They had been scheduled to fly Wednesday morning from Oakland to Fort Bragg on California’s North Coast in a six-seat airplane operated by the state Department of Justice.
Spokesmen for both officials say a storm sweeping across Northern California made it unsafe to fly the plane, which never left Oakland.
Harris had returned a half-day early from an official trip to Mexico so she could attend the funeral.
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