EUGENE, Ore. — Eugene police are investigating the homicide of a Eugene man and a carjacking of two victims, which they say are related.
Both incidents happened on March 19.
Police responded after midnight to a house fire on Elk Avenue where they say 79-year-old George Bundy Wasson was shot and killed. They say the fire was started after Wasson was shot. Police say the person of interest is 32-year-old Ricardo Antonio Chaney, an acquaintance of Wasson’s family.
After the fire, police say Chaney was involved in a carjacking after 1 a.m. where two men in the 20s were robbed at gunpoint, and Chaney took their black 2006 BMW, four-door, 330i. Police say he forced them into the trunk of the car, but they escaped before leaving the parking lot. They called 9-1-1. Police say they were not hurt.
Police alerted law enforcement agencies throughout Oregon and surrounding states.
Chaney drove the stolen car to an area near Fort Bragg, California where he got into a shootout with officers several hours later, around 10:30 a.m. Eugene police were on their way to Northern California when they heard Chaney had shot and killed 48-year-old Menocino County Sheriff’s Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino, of Fort Bragg, CA. They say Chaney was killed in a shootout with California police.
Police did not release a motive for Chaney’s rampage, but they do say Wasson was not a random victim. Chaney was an acquaintance with the anthropology professor. According to court documents, Chaney’s former Floral Hill Drive address is just blocks away from Wasson’s now charred home. Police are just trying to find out why Wasson was targeted.
Chaney was just arrested at the beginning of the month. Police found several firearms in his car including modified guns and body armor. They also found meth. He was released from jail shortly after. When we asked police if they thought he was a public threat then, they said no.
Police are continuing to investigate Wasson’s murder and are working with Mendocino County police on the related cases.
If anyone has information relevant to either of these two cases, they are asked to contact Detective Dan Braziel at 541-682-5836 or Detective Jen Curry at 541-682-5166.