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Fort Bragg slaying suspect is reported killed

October 1, 2011 |  2:38 pm

Aaron Bassler, the suspect in two Fort Bragg killings who has eluded authorities for more than a month, has been killed, a local newspaper reported.

The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reported that Bassler, 35, was shot and killed Saturday afternoon by a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy aiding in the search.

Calls to Mendocino County authorities were not immediately returned and there were no details available on how Bassler died.

Bassler is accused of killing 45-year-old Matthew Coleman, a land restoration worker, on Aug. 11 north of Fort Bragg. He also is accused of killing Jere Melo, 69, a Fort Bragg city councilman, in the hills east of town on Aug. 27.

Since Melo’s death, a manhunt has been underway for Bassler, whose father said he is schizophrenic and deranged. Federal agents as well as law enforcement officers from around the state have aided Mendocino County deputies in the search for Bassler.

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 -- Sam Quinones

twitter.com/samquinones7

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