Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office press release:
On 02/04/2018 around 9:10 a.m. the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a shooting in the 6000 block of North Highway 1 in Little River. The reporting party, victim Daniel Alonso reported that he and his friend, victim Autumn Smith (AKA Johnson), were traveling southbound on North Highway 1 from Fort Bragg. As they passed the area of Caspar they observed suspect Andrew Crowningshield in his vehicle. According to Alonso, Crowningshield followed their vehicle as they drove south. Crowningshield and Smith had a previous relationship together and they share a child in common, a three year old boy. Their relationship had ended over a year prior to this incident and they shared custody of the child.
In the 6000 block of North Highway 1 Smith pulled to the side of the road to talk to Crowningshield about their child and when she could pick up the child. She approached Crowningshield’s vehicle and for reasons unknown at this time, Crowningshield fired numerous rounds at Smith, who fell to the ground. According to Alonso, he believed Crowningshield also fired numerous rounds at him while he was seated in the other vehicle. Alonso used Smith’s vehicle to drive to a nearby business to report the shooting to the Sheriff’s Office.
Crowningshield fled the area in a large 4 wheel drive Ford pickup.
Initially MCSO Deputies were concerned the 3 year old boy might have been taken by Crowningshield but it was later learned to not be the case. Deputies later found the child safe, with relatives, and learned he was not at the scene nor was he involved in the incident in any way.
Responding Deputies and members of the Albion Litter River Fire Department arrived on scene and found Smith deceased at the scene. MCSO Detectives were called to conduct the investigation while Deputies, Officers from the California Highway Patrol (patrol and helicopter), Officers from the Ukiah Police Department, and Officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife combed the area looking for the suspect. Several reports came in the suspect may have been seen on the Comptche-Ukiah Road but Deputies were unable to locate him. Additional reports came in the suspect vehicle might have been seen on the Eel River Road leading to Lake Pillsbury. A be on the lookout (BOLO) was issued to all allied agencies to stop and arrest the suspect.
On 2/5/2018 just before 7:00 AM the suspect vehicle was spotted in Glenn County in the Town of Elk Creek. Responding Glenn County Deputies observed Crowningshield near the vehicle and placed him into custody without incident. Crowningshield will be transported and booked into the Mendocino County Jail on an open charge of homicide and an open charge of attempted homicide. This is a no bail status.
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank all allied agencies who assisted and all citizens who called in information about possible sightings