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Suspect arrested in connection with I-5 shootings that injured one

A woman driving on I-5 between Gold Hill and Central Point was struck by a bullet on Wednesday evening, Oregon State Police confirmed.

Posted: Aug 21, 2020 9:23 AM
Updated: Aug 21, 2020 11:21 AM

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — Oregon State Police confirmed on Friday that they have arrested a Roseburg man in connection with the string of shootings along I-5 over the past several months, most recently injuring a woman near Central Point.

Troopers arrested 49-year-old Kenneth Ayers on Wednesday, OSP said. Ayers has been lodged in the Jackson County Jail on charges for Attempted Murder, Assault II, seven counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, seven counts of Criminal Mischief II, and 13 counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person.

OSP's statement indicated that Ayers was arrested after a woman was shot driving on I-5 north of Central Point on Wednesday night, but could also be linked multiple "shots fired" incidents between Douglas, Josephine, and Jackson counties.

"Ayers is also the suspect in the series of shootings that have been occurring on Interstate 5 beginning in late May," OSP said.


RELATED: OSP investigating shots fire at vehicles on I-5 between Josephine and Douglas counties


District Attorneys from Douglas and Josephine County will be working with the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office on additional charges — all of them to be presented to a Jackson County Grand Jury.

OSP said that it will present more information on Friday afternoon alongside the Jackson County DA's office, with a virtual press conference tentatively scheduled for 2 p.m.

Based on court documents, Ayers does not have a recent history of criminal charges in Oregon. He last faced indictment in 1988, when he was under the age of 18, for allegedly stealing a car in Douglas County and driving recklessly to avoid capture. The case was transferred to Juvenile Court.

OSP went public about the investigation in July, when the agency had identified five instances of vehicles struck by bullets on a stretch of I-5 roughly between Hugo and Canyonville. But the incidents continued over subsequent weeks, with at least one vehicle struck in Jackson County prior to this week.

While this latest shooting happened at night, OSP has said previously that the incidents have happened at different times throughout the day and night. NewsWatch 12 asked the agency if they had identified a consistent caliber of firearm used, but a spokesman said at the time that this was still under investigation.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 673
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah9502166
Marion6024109
Washington599178
Umatilla343545
Clackamas326766
Lane246727
Malheur194938
Jackson17967
Deschutes118513
Yamhill101315
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Columbia2711
Josephine2703
Coos2601
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Crook1132
Tillamook740
Curry581
Wallowa492
Lake430
Harney350
Sherman200
Grant120
Gilliam110
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

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San Diego55898885
Kern34114420
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Imperial13023338
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Santa Cruz284825
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