Authorities in northern California were hunting for a gunman suspected of shooting and killing a Fort Bragg councilman who had stumbled onto a remote marijuana operation east of the coastal city of Fort Bragg, reported the San Francisco Chronicle. Jere Melo, a longtime forester who served as mayor from 2000 to 2004, was killed Saturday on rugged timber company land in Mendocino County. Melo, who worked for Campbell Timber Management, was with a co-worker investigating a report of a transient when they discovered a man living and growing marijuana on the property.
The gunman began shooting at the men, hitting Melo. His co-worker was able to flee and call police, who later found Melo’s body. The Sheriff’s Office identified the suspect as a transient from Fort Bragg with a long history of run-ins with law enforcement. Melo was first elected to the Fort Bragg council in 1996 after serving four years on the city’s planning commission. He moved to the city in 1966 to work as a forester