Police shoot, kill man near St. Helens after pursuit

Police shoot, kill man near St. Helens after pursuit
The scene Friday night.

WARREN, Ore. – At least one Oregon State Police trooper shot and killed a man Friday night after a chase from the Scappoose area, police said.

Police initially thought the suspect was a woman, but realized he was a man later during the investigation. He was identifed as 27-year-old Josiah M. Fischer of St. Helens.

Police swarmed a rural area at the intersection of Stone Road and Hazen in Columbia County after the shooting.

The Columbia County sheriff said Fischer was shot near St. Helens Golf Course just before 7 p.m. He said he led OSP on a car chase that began on Highway 30.

The sheriff said there was more than one OSP trooper involved and that police recovered a gun. On Friday, he couldn't say what kind of gun, and police are still investigating whether Fischer fired it or even held it up.

State police identifed the two troopers involved in the shooting as Robin May and Justin Oxenrider. Both are assigned to the St. Helens office.

One woman said she saw an Oregon State Police car hit the back of the suspect’s car, forcing it into a ditch just before the shooting.

Another woman said she spoke to golfers who witnessed what happened.

"They were golfing and that they saw the police chase and the person, the suspect, try to – well, they got out of the car," said Karen Harper, who lives nearby.

When asked if they saw a gun, Harper said they saw an arm raise but nothing else.

Kim Sisco said she heard the gunshots. 

"I heard the four shots and then the officer said, 'if you don't put the gun down, I'll shoot you again,' and by that time it was probably already too late," she said.

OSP says the Columbia County Major Crimes Team is leading the investigation.

May and Oxenrider were not hurt during the incident. They are on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday, police said.