Violence strikes small resort town at midnight

GUERNEVILLE – SONOMA COUNTY – On Monday night an officer-involved shooting left one man dead and the small resort community wondering what happened.

The Riverlane Resort is a 12 cabin vacation destination located right on the Russian River and Johnson’s Beach, not far from the coastal area of Sonoma County. The resort boasts of being in walking distance to the shops and restaurants in the charming downtown area, with rustic cabins featuring river views and wood burning fireplaces and stoves.

Riverlane Resort

On Monday night, about 11 pm, the peaceful scene was broken when a woman called the Sheriff’s office to report that her husband was threatening to kill her. They advised her to leave the premises immediately and report to the Sheriff’s substation, which is located across the street from the Resort, while deputies responded. According to a Sonoma Sheriff’s press release, she and her 30-year-old daughter arrived within a minute, reporting that her husband, Wayne Courtright, was intoxicated, suicidal, and armed with a rifle.

The 59-year-old Courtright and his wife are listed as managers and caretakers of the Riverlane property.

Deputies set up a perimeter around the main house at the front of the resort property. Within 20 minutes, they heard shots being fired. The Sonoma Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit was summoned as more deputies also responded to the area. At midnight, Courtright came out of the front door and began firing at the deputies with what was described as a high powered rifle. They immediately returned fire and he went down. Medical personnel, who had also been summoned to the area, attempted to render aid to Courtright, but he died at the scene, from at least one gunshot wound. They left open the possibility that at least one wound was self inflicted.

The incident is under further investigation by the Petaluma Police Department and District Attorney’s office. Per protocol, the involved deputies are on administrative leave.

Read More: The Press Democrat: Armed Guerneville man shot, killed by Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies

Violence strikes small resort town at midnight was last modified: January 14th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Sonoma

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Ken Kiunke

Ken Kiunke is a northern California writer covering Lake, Mendocino, Sonoma, and Sacramento Counties.