Update: Two Police Officers and Suspect Injured During Saturday Night Shooting in Benton County 08/13/2012
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext email@example.com
The investigation continues into Saturday night's shooting of a Benton County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) sergeant and Salem Police Department (SPD) corporal during an incident involving police and an adult male following an attempt to elude law enforcement about 2 miles north of Adair Park just south of the Benton/Polk County line. The suspect also received gunshot wound injuries. Oregon State Police Criminal Investigation Division detectives are leading the investigation with the assistance of Benton County Major Crime Team, Keizer Police Department, Polk County Sheriff's Office, Salem Police Department, and Benton County District Attorney's Office.
The suspect involved in the shooting with law enforcement officers is identified as DEMECIO CARDENAS JR, age 32, from Los Angeles, California. CARDENAS is wanted as a fugitive from justice on an outstanding warrant for Parole Violation out of California. He is being treated at a Portland-area hospital and his condition status is not available. No photograph available for release at this time.
On August 11, 2012 at approximately 10:25 p.m. an Albany-area woman called 911 to report a man armed with a gun was in her backyard. The man reportedly left in a possible stolen green 1994 Acura Integra two-door displaying Oregon license plates. Law enforcement agencies in the area were notified to be on the lookout for the vehicle that was subsequently confirmed stolen out of Salem. BCSO spotted the vehicle about eight minutes later and it attempted to elude deputies along Highway 20 into rural Benton County.
At approximately 10:37 p.m., the driver lost control of the vehicle at the intersection of Independence Highway and NW Springhill Drive where he abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot into heavy brush north of the intersection. Officers responded to the area to assist BCSO and established a perimeter to try and contain the suspect driver. A Salem police canine unit came to the scene to assist in finding the suspect.
As the search team with the canine started searching the area before midnight, the suspect emerged from the brush and was encountered by law enforcement officers. During the encounter, shots were reportedly exchanged between the suspect and law enforcement. During the exchange of gunfire, BCSO Sergeant David Peterson and SPD Corporal Andrew Connolly were shot. The suspect was also shot multiple times. A SPD patrol vehicle was also hit by several rounds.
Law enforcement officers from BCSO, Albany Police Department, Corvallis Police Department, Polk County Sheriff's Office, Linn County Sheriff's Office, and Salem Police Department were at the scene. Adair Fire Department personnel were also in the area.
Sergeant Peterson and Corporal Connolly were both transported to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center for treatment.
"Sgt. Peterson is still in serious condition, but is stabilized and beginning the recovery process," said Sheriff Diana Simpson.
Corporal Connolly was treated for a single gunshot wound and released.
Two officers, including Sergeant Peterson, shot their firearms during the incident. The second officer is identified as Benton County Deputy Gregory Goller, a 3 Â1/2 year BCSO employee. Deputy Goller is on paid administrative leave, a standard procedure during officer-involved shooting investigations. The number of shots fired by law enforcement and the suspect will not be released at this time.
Corporal Connolly did not shoot during the incident. He requests no media contact.
Sergeant Peterson's family requests no media contact or interviews at this time.
The officers' department photographs will not be released unless they authorize through their respective agencies. Their permission has not been received.