CORVALLIS, Ore. — A shooting involving an armed man and two officers drew back-up from seven different law enforcement agencies Saturday night. It happened near Albany, when Benton County Sheriffs deputies responded to a call about a man with a gun in an Albany woman’s backyard.
Deputies spotted the stolen car he drove off in within minutes, after they got the 911 call from the woman, who says she knows the suspect. Investigators say he’s a 32-year-old Hispanic man from California. The suspect lost control at the intersection of Independence Highway and Springhill Drive, after eluding police on highway 20. He crashed, then fled on foot.
“The search team with the canines started before midnight, the suspect emerged from the brush shortly after they began the search,” said Oregon State Police Lieutenant Gregg Hastings.
After verbal confrontation, shots were fired from both the suspect and officers. No word yet on who fired first. Benton County sheriffs office Sergeant David Peterson, Salem P.D. Corporal Andrew Connoly, and the suspect were shot in the exchange.
“We’re very lucky here today to have two police officers alive in what could have been a very deadly situation for everyone,” said Salem Police Chief Jerry Moore.
Officers credit the outpouring of back-up from neighboring law enforcement, including officials from seven agencies.
“I think that without that great collaboration and support from the other agencies, that we would have had a much different outcome,” said Benton county Sheriff Diana Simpson. Chief Moore out of Salem agreed.
“I know this could have been a very bad situation for an undermanned group of individuals, so I’m glad we were there and I’m glad our officers are okay,” said Moore.
Peterson, age 29, is in serious condition and was shot multiple times. Conolly, age 46, was treated and released for one gun shot wound. The suspect was seriously injured and was shot multiple times. He was transported by air to a Portland hospital. OSP says they still need to positively identify the suspect before any charges are handed down.