Phoenix Elementary briefly put on 'lock-out' as police pursue suspects

Officers eventually apprehended two suspects after a chase through Phoenix and a resulting search.

Posted: Dec 19, 2019 2:15 PM
Updated: Dec 19, 2019 2:29 PM

PHOENIX, Ore. — Phoenix Elementary School briefly went into "lock-out" procedures while officers from multiple law enforcement agencies searched for a suspect that eluded them in a chase, according to a statement from the Phoenix Police Department on Thursday.

Phoenix Police said that the incident began around 10 a.m. when a Phoenix officer and a deputy with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office spotted a vehicle that had been reported stolen out of Medford. Although the two officers tried to make a traffic stop on South Pacific Highway just north of Phoenix, the driver took off.

The chase led onto the residential streets in Phoenix before looping back to S Pacific Hwy, Phoenix Police said. The driver began heading down the highway towards Talent with multiple officers now in pursuit when Talent Police were able to spike the suspect vehicle's tires near Rapp Road.

"The suspect vehicle then left the roadway and crashed on the Greenway near Wrangler Arena, just south of the Talent city limits," Phoenix Police said.

Two people got out of the vehicle and tried to run. Officers quickly caught one of them, identified as 21-year-old Kathryn Beth Dunay. Police said that the suspected driver, a man, escaped into the brush along the Bear Creek Greenway.

Officers from five different law enforcement agencies began setting up a perimeter in the area while the Sheriff's Office called in a K-9 for the search.

During the chase, Phoenix Elementary School went into "lock-out" procedures while the pursuit came nearby, locking the doors so that no one could come in or leave.

"Once the pursuit left the area, the school resumed normal operations," Phoenix Police said.

Using the K-9, officers eventually located the second suspect — identified as 26-year-old Jeffry Michael Vinson — shortly before noon.

Vinson was lodged at the Jackson County Jail, charged with Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Elude, Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangering, Elude on Foot and Criminal Mischief. Phoenix Police said that Dunay has "not been charged in this case."

"No officers or any members of the general public were injured during the incident," the agency concluded.

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