SEVERE WX : Wind Advisory - High Wind Warning - Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Southern Oregon I-5 shooter sentenced to 20 years in prison

State troopers arrested 49-year-old Kenneth Ayers in August following a string of shootings along the Interstate corridor between Douglas, Josephine, and Jackson counties.

Posted: Mar 2, 2021 12:56 PM
Updated: Mar 2, 2021 5:31 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — The former UPS driver accused of shooting at drivers along I-5 in southern Oregon received his sentenced in Jackson County Circuit Court on Tuesday after victims of the shootings delivered their statements.

State troopers arrested 49-year-old Kenneth Ayers in August following a string of shootings along the Interstate corridor between Douglas, Josephine, and Jackson counties — one of which injured a woman near Central Point.

A grand jury indicted Ayers on a total of 34 counts in December. Though the shootings took place in three separate counties, Ayers agreed to have all of the charges tried in Jackson County.

Last week, Ayers agreed to plead guilty on 15 counts in total — three counts of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, five counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, two counts of Criminal Mischief in the First Degree, three counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person, and two counts of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree.

According to the Jackson County District Attorney's Office, Ayers will serve 20 years in prison for his crimes. The terms of his post-prison supervision are still being determined, but most of the charges carried supervision terms of one to three years. There will also be a hearing on restitution for the victims to be held at a later date.

"During today’s sentencing a number of victims addressed the court and expressed how traumatic this event was and the impact it had on their lives," the DA's Office said. "Ayers declined to make a statement regarding the case or his motive for the shootings."


RELATED: OSP investigating shots fired at vehicles on I-5 between Josephine and Douglas counties (July)


Oregon State Police investigated eight separate shootings between Central Point and Roseburg, stretching from May to August of 2020. During the investigation, a number of victims told police that they had been driving near a semi-truck when the shootings happened — some identifying a UPS double or triple trailer.

On August 19, a woman was shot in the shoulder while driving on I-5 northwest of Central Point. Witnesses said that a UPS truck had been getting on the freeway at the same time.

State troopers later stopped a UPS truck in Douglas County, identifying the driver as Ayers. He was employed as a UPS truck driver at the time of the shootings.

OSP forensic experts were able to determine that the gun used in each of the shootings was a .45 Auto Caliber Hi-Point, model JHP, semi-automatic pistol. After stopping Ayers and obtaining a search warrant for his truck, OSP troopers found the same model of pistol in Ayers' truck. According to the DA's office, Ayers admitted that the gun was his.

The investigation also obtained GPS and ELD information from UPS, lining up Ayers' location with each of the shootings.

Before May of 2020, Ayers drove a route for UPS that took him north of Roseburg, investigators said. He was put onto a route south of Roseburg around the same time that the first known shooting occurred.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 352026

Reported Deaths: 4185
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah55306692
Washington38321316
Marion36352445
Clackamas29350304
Lane27309299
Jackson22783304
Deschutes19886124
Umatilla14286144
Linn12617120
Douglas11918241
Josephine9292195
Yamhill8584111
Klamath7765111
Polk719680
Malheur552774
Benton537630
Coos492593
Columbia375743
Jefferson366351
Union316247
Lincoln313338
Wasco282640
Crook277646
Clatsop240729
Baker199228
Tillamook194929
Hood River190137
Morrow183023
Curry178723
Harney110225
Grant98012
Lake89711
Wallowa67312
Gilliam1494
Sherman1463
Wheeler1031
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4825708

Reported Deaths: 70829
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147768626443
Riverside3704095008
San Diego3649124169
San Bernardino3574215597
Orange3234075528
Sacramento1584372283
Fresno1451192063
Santa Clara1450041895
Kern1449141615
Alameda1202831381
San Joaquin1022501721
Ventura1008011165
Contra Costa99612995
Stanislaus856421319
Tulare79513958
San Francisco54220644
San Mateo53970622
Monterey50772583
Solano45898340
Santa Barbara45005522
Merced42047579
Sonoma40822402
Placer39118420
Imperial35794764
Kings32587315
San Luis Obispo29797331
Madera23680281
Butte23649265
Shasta23544341
Santa Cruz20928218
Yolo20240248
Marin17644243
El Dorado17083149
Sutter13847172
Napa12855100
Yuba1000882
Tehama9406107
Humboldt9171108
Nevada909490
Mendocino757686
Lassen749946
San Benito741372
Tuolumne680893
Lake6565104
Amador540364
Siskiyou445842
Glenn433632
Calaveras385180
Del Norte357141
Colusa302818
Inyo203540
Mono16565
Plumas16046
Mariposa130815
Trinity86711
Modoc6758
Unassigned1820
Sierra1810
Alpine1030
Out of CA00
Medford
Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 51°
Brookings
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 52°
Crater Lake
Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 51°
Grants Pass
Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 51°
Klamath Falls
Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 33°
Strong winds tonight
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events