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Showing posts with label OSP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label OSP. Show all posts

21 August 2020

Interstate 5 Shooting Suspect Arrested

Photos Courtesy -- Oregon State Police

By Brad Smith

A suspect in the Interstate 5 shootings has been arrested.

Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers have been investigating the shootings that started last spring and spanned thee counties along the I-5 corridor -- evidence gathered after the last incident factored into the arrest.

During a press teleconference, OSP Capt. Tim Fox said Kenneth Ayers, 49, was arrested in Roseburg 11 p.m. Aug. 20. Ayers, a driver for UPS, was then transported to the Jackson County Jail and booked on several charges: Attempted murder, second-degree assault, seven counts of unlawful use of a weapon, seven counts of second-degree criminal mischief and 13 counts of recklessly endangering another person.

Ayers' bond is set at more that $350,000.

The shooting incidents that Ayers is allegedly connected to are:

  • May 12, Josephine County
  • June 2, Jackson County
  • June 15, Douglas County
  • June 22, Josephine County
  • July 7, Douglas County
  • July 9, Josephine County
  • August 19, Jackson County.

Fox said OSP troopers have been diligently investigating these shootings since May 12 and recently believed that a UPS truck could be involved. Immediately following the Aug. 19 shooting, troopers were able to locate a UPS tractor trailer combination approximately 1 hour and 60 miles north of the shooting incident. Through the subsequent investigation the truck was seized -- UPS arranged for another truck to pick up the trailers -- and a search warrant was applied for and served. The search of the truck revealed a firearm consistent with the type used in the shootings

The arrest comes after the Aug. 19 incident. On Wednesday, at approximately 9:45 p.m., OSP troopers and emergency personnel responded to Interstate 5 northbound near milepost 37 in Jackson County for a report of a motorist that had been shot. Preliminary investigation revealed that a female motorist was northbound when she was struck with a bullet. She was transported to the hospital, treated for her injuries and released. OSP forensic scientists were on scene and gathered evidence.

The type of weapon Ayers allegedly used has not been released. The victim's identity is still being withheld by the OSP. Fox did say that Ayers was reportedly driving during the shootings.

"As for a motive, we don't know yet," Fox said.

Previous to May, Ayers' UPS route was north of Roseburg and beginning in May his route took him south of Roseburg. Ayers' route also took him on Hwy 140 and Hwy 62.

"Again, our investigation is still ongoing," Fox said during the teleconference. "(Ayers) is our sole suspect at the moment. If anyone has any further information, please contact us."

UPS has cooperated fully during the investigation.

"They sent a truck to pick up the trailer after the semi was seized," Fox said. "Their level of cooperation has been outstanding."

Fox stated that troopers from Central Point, Grants Pass and Roseburg worked the case. Jackson, Josephine and Douglas counties' DA's offices are working together.

"I know Jackson County has filed charges," he said. "I'm not sure if the others will."

Ayers does have a number of priors. According to court records, he had a number of traffic violations -- the latest in 2010. In 1988, a then 17-year-old Ayers was charged with second-degree burglary and unauthorized use of a vehicle and reckless driving. He had broken into a repair shop and stole a car. The case was later dismissed and a petition was filed in juvenile court.

20 August 2020

I-5 Shooter hits vehicle, driver injured

 The I-5 Shooter has struck again.

According to OSP public information officer Capt. Tim Fox, on Wednesday, Aug. 19, at approximately 9:45 p.m., Oregon State Police troopers and emergency personnel responded to Interstate 5 northbound near milepost 37 in Jackson County for a report of a motorist that had been shot.  Preliminary investigation revealed that a female motorist was northbound when she was struck with a bullet.  She was transported to the hospital, treated and released for injuries.

OSP has reason to believe this shooting is linked to the previous shootings reported along Interstate 5 beginning in late May. 

Oregon State Police forensic scientists have responded to assist with the investigation.

OSP is working with the District Attorney’s Offices in Jackson, Josephine and Douglas counties. OSP is still requesting public’s assistance regarding this investigation.  If you have any information regarding last night’s shooting or any of the previous shootings please contact the Oregon State Police Southern Command Center at 1-800-442-2068 or *OSP and refer to case #SP20-235168

No further information is currently available for release as this in an ongoing investigation.

The shootings have been under investigation for the last several weeks. The shooting incidents were first reported after there were reports of someone shooting at several vehicles on Interstate 5 between Roseburg and Grants Pass.  There were five incidents reported.

The OSP soon expanded the scope of their investigation. On Aug. 11, investigators requested the public's assistance in identifying the person(s) responsible for shooting at vehicles on Interstate 5 in Douglas, Josephine and Jackson Counties.

From the time of the first request for assistance on July 14, several additional vehicles have been confirmed to have been struck by bullets. Previously only Douglas and Josephine Counties had confirmed bullet strikes. The geographic location has been expanded to include Jackson County.

If you have information regarding the shootings or if you believe your vehicle has been struck please contact the Oregon State Police Southern Command Center at 1-800-442-2068 or * OSP- Reference OSP Case #SP20-173444.

Highway snipers aren't something new. And, unfortunately, have been increasing over the last few years.

  • During October 2002,  John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, the D.C. or Beltway Snipers, carried out a series of coordinated shootings that occurred during three weeks in October 2002 in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Ten people were killed and three others were critically wounded in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area and along Interstate 95 in Virginia.

  • The Ohio highway sniper attacks were a series of 24 sniper attacks along Interstate 270 and other nearby highways in the central part of the U.S. state of Ohio (mostly around Columbus) against traffic, homes, and a vacant school building in the Hamilton Local School district in Obetz, Ohio. The shootings began in May 2003 and continued for several months. One person was killed (62-year-old Gail Knisley, killed on November 25, 2003), and the shootings caused widespread fear. The suspect, Charles A. McCoy Jr., was arrested in Las Vegas on March 17, 2004. McCoy, who had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1996, stood trial in 2005. The first trial with death penalty charges resulted in a hung jury on May 9, 2005, most likely due to McCoy's severe mental illness. Rather than face a retrial, McCoy accepted a plea arrangement where he avoided the death sentence. He was sentenced to 27 years in prison on August 9, 2005.

  • The Phoenix freeway shootings, also known as the I-10 shootings, were a series of eleven incidents that occurred between August 27 and September 10, 2015, along Interstate 10 and State Route 202 in Phoenix, Arizona. Each incident resulted in projectile damage to cars, and one girl was injured. Leslie Allen Merritt, Jr. was arrested in Glendale on Sept. 18. Police initially claimed that Merritt held anti-government and anti-police views. One day after his arrest, police announced that they had linked the first four shootings to a pistol owned by Merritt. He was charged with fifteen felony counts, including carrying out a drive-by shooting, aggravated assault, unlawfully discharging a firearm, disorderly conduct, and endangerment; prosecutors also considered filing terrorism charges, but ultimately did not, as terrorism-related laws focused primarily on protecting public utilities and did not encompass freeway shootings. All charges were dropped in April 2016 and Merritt later filed a lawsuit against state officials. To date, no one else has been arrested and charged.

  • Dale Hausner and Samuel Dieteman (also known as Serial Shooter) are two gunmen who committed multiple drive-by shootings in Phoenix, Arizona between May 2005 and August 2006. They targeted random pedestrians. The investigations were simultaneous to the search for the Baseline Killer, who was also committing random murders and sexual assaults in the Phoenix area. The Serial Shooters' last crime occurred July 30, 2006 in Mesa. According to police, Robin Blasnek, 22, was shot and killed at approximately 11:15 p.m. while walking from her parents' house to a friend's house after having an argument with her boyfriend. On August 3, Phoenix police released a statement linking Blasnek's murder to the Serial Shooter, citing forensic evidence and other similarities to the Serial Shooters' past crimes. Prior to that, they shot pedestrians, cyclists, dogs and horses. Phoenix police originally believed that the Serial Shooter was a single individual responsible for 4 murders and 25 shootings beginning in May 2005, and that a series of 13 shootings in the same area were the work of another offender. However, on July 11, 2006, investigators revealed that they believed the two series of shootings were related. Dieteman was sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole. Hausner was sentenced to death, and committed suicide in prison. Investigators believe they were responsible for eight murders and at least 29 other shootings. The victims were: David Estrada, 20, shot to death on June 29, 2005. Nathaniel Shoffner, 44, murdered on Nov.11, 2005 while attempting to protect a dog from being shot. Jose Ortiz, 44, was murdered on Dec. 12, 2005. Marco Carillo, 28, murdered on Dec. 29, 2005. Claudia Gutierrez-Cruz, 20, shot and killed by Dieteman on May 2, 2006, as Hausner drove.

  • The Maryvale serial shooter (also known as the Serial Street Shooter) is a serial killer who was linked to twelve separate shootings resulting in nine deaths and three injuries across Phoenix, Arizona in 2015 and 2016, mainly in the Maryvale neighborhood. On May 8, 2017, Aaron Saucedo was charged with the shootings and an additional two homicides.

  • On May 4, 2018, Rex Whitmere Harbour went on a highway shooting spree -- fortunately, no one was killed. After the terrifying shooting spree Friday afternoon, which injured two people and left at least seven vehicles with bullet holes, Harbour killed himself.  According to law enforcement, Harbour perched himself on the side of Georgia 365, just outside Atlanta. Hiding in the wooded area made him harder to see, Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch said. He had with him an small arsenal of at least five guns and more than 3,000 rounds of ammunition, the sheriff also reported.

  • In April 2014, Mohammed Pedro Whitaker was arrested as a suspect in as many as 12 highway shootings, a spree that has gripped the Kansas City area for a month. No one was killed in the shootings and three people were wounded. None of the injuries were life-threatening. Police say Whitaker fired shots at vehicles often before they reached a highway exit ramp. The FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and several local police departments cooperated in the investigation. The shooting started March 8 and the last reported incident was April 6. But it wasn’t until the following day that an analyst with the police department pointed out that the shootings could be the work of a serial shooter, prompting a wide investigation.

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