Deputy, suspect shot during attempted traffic stop near Silverton

Deputy, suspect shot during attempted traffic stop near Silverton »Play Video
Police are shown at a location near Silverton, reportedly a Christmas tree farm, where an officer-involved shooting occurred. Sources say a deputy and the suspect were wounded.

NEAR SILVERTON, Ore. – A Marion County sheriff's deputy attempting to stop a vehicle Friday afternoon was wounded when the driver got out of the car and fled in to a field of Christmas trees, then later fired on the deputy.

The suspect was also wounded by return fire from police.

"At some point there was a foot pursuit with a suspect, a male.  A deputy and that male ended up in an exchange of gunfire with each other," said Marion County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Chris Baldridge.

The shooting happened at about 3:30 p.m. on property near the intersection of Sunnyview Road and 117th Avenue.

Baldridge said that the suspect was taken to a Salem-area hospital. He did not release the suspect's identity.

The deputy, who was also not identified, was taken by air ambulance from the scene, a rural area composed of tree farms and fields.

"It makes it more challenging when there's an officer injured. That's why we turn it over to other entities," said Baldridge.

Baldridge said both the deputy and the suspect are expected to be OK. The district attorney's office will release their names in the morning.

Police said the deputy had attempted to make a traffic stop but it turned into a car chase. The suspect eventually stopped his car on Sunnyview Road NE near 117th Avenue and ran into a field of Christmas trees.

The deputy ran after him. They exchanged gunfire, and then the suspect got into a standoff with police.

The suspect was shot by police responding to the scene. Baldridge said he didn't know who fired first. He also said he did not know why officers pursued the man initially or exactly when the chase started.

Baldridge said he didn't know exactly who shot the suspect, nor how much time might have elapsed between when the deputy was wounded and when the suspect was wounded.

Marion County deputies were apparently at the scene for hours before the deputy was wounded, the Statesman Journal reported.
   
Silverton resident Sheldon Traver told the newspaper he was driving by the area when he noticed police vehicles parked in the field.
   
When he asked deputies if everything was all right, one said they had been out for six hours in the field searching for an armed man, the newspaper reported.

The deputy was taken to Oregon Health and Science University. A hospital spokeswoman declined to comment, citing privacy rules.

Salem police are taking the lead on the investigation.

"These are very complex investigations that take a lot of time, especially when the use of deadly force has happened," said Sgt. Baldridge.

Because of the cold weather, police have shut down the investigation Friday night and will start again Saturday morning.