Sunday May 19, 2013
Details Emerge in Salem Police Officer-Involved ShootingSalem-News.com
Salem Police Officers fatally shot a male suspect following the pursuit of a stolen vehicle - anybody with information regarding this investigation is asked to call the Oregon State Police Regional Communications Center at 503-375-3555.
(SALEM, Ore.) - Salem Police Officers fatally shot a male suspect following the pursuit of a stolen vehicle. Lt. Dave Okada with Salem Police, says, "the incident began at approximately 1:01 a.m. when Salem Police Officers located a stolen vehicle that was being operated by a male near downtown Salem."
The vehicle, a 1989 Honda Civic, had been reported stolen to the Salem Police Department on the evening of 10-16-11.
Okada says officers followed and observed the vehicle while they waited for additional officers to arrive in order to safely stop the stolen vehicle. He says the driver in the reportedly stolen vehicle, noticed the police vehicles and attempted to flee.
"The suspect led pursuing officers northbound on Liberty St from Ferry St, eastbound on Chemeketa St, northbound on Church St, northbound in an alley between Center St and Marion St, northbound on Cottage St, westbound on Hood St, northbound on 5th St, southbound on Broadway St, westbound on Jefferson St, northbound on Liberty St and crashed into a stop sign on the northeast corner of Liberty St and Grove St NE. The entire pursuit lasted approximately three minutes through light traffic and speeds averaging between 30-50 mph. The suspect also ran several stop signs along the way.
"After the vehicle crashed into the stop sign at Liberty St and Grove St, the driver continued eastbound on Grove St and struck another vehicle that was parked on the roadway. As officers made contact with the driver, he failed to comply with the commands of the officers and his subsequent actions placed officers at the scene in imminent danger. As a result, Officers Rogers Smith and Laura Seefeldt fired their duty weapons at the suspect, striking him. The suspect was removed from the vehicle by officers and emergency medical aid was immediately administered at the scene, but he was declared deceased at the scene. The suspect driver has not yet been positively identified.
"Officer Rogers Smith has been with the Salem Police Department since January of 2006 and Officer Seefeldt has been with the Salem Police Department since March of 2000. Prior to being hired at the Salem Police Department she was a police officer with the Independence Police Department.
"Officers Seefeldt and Smith will both be placed on administrative leave as is standard procedure while the incident is being investigated. This leave is not disciplinary in nature, but is common in situations where officers become involved in extremely traumatic events in the line of duty."
Okada says the Oregon State Police and the Marion County District Attorney's Office will be coordinating and conducting this investigation. This is standard procedure for the Salem Police Department to request the Oregon State Police conduct an independent investigation of incidents of this nature.
Anybody with information regarding this investigation is asked to call the Oregon State Police Regional Communications Center at 503-375-3555.
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