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Marion County Deputy Shooting Ruled Justified by Grand Jury; Suspect Indicted on Mutliple Charges
04/09/2010
A Marion County Grand Jury ruled Friday, April 9th, that Marion County Deputy Sheriff Ron Cereghino was justified in using deadly force against BILLY JACK GRAY, age 23, on the night of March 30,2010.
 
GRAY was being sought by Woodburn Police Department regarding a March 27th burglary in Woodburn.  Members of the Woodburn Police Department came to Salem to locate GRAY based on tips they had received.  They were being assisted by members of the Salem Police street crimes unit.  Woodburn police officers believed they had found GRAY at an apartment at 3744 Sunnyview Road NE in Salem.
 
While waiting for Salem officers to arrive, it is alleged that GRAY exited the apartment shooting at officers from 2 firearms.  Woodburn Sergeant John Mikkola was shot 3 times and GRAY then allegedly ran from the scene.  More shots were allegedly fired by GRAY at other officers at the corner of Sunnyview and Coral Avenue.
 
Within minutes Deputy Ron Cereghino, who had parked his car in the parking lot at a mall facing Coral Avenue, saw GRAY peddling a small bike north along the backside of the mall.  GRAY matched the description provided by other officers of the suspect involved in the shooting at the Sunnyview apartment complex.
 
Deputy Cereghino was in uniform and had a marked Marion County police vehicle.  Deputy Cereghino gave commands to GRAY to stop.  GRAY attempted to elude the deputy and a short struggle ensued.  GRAY abandoned the bike and ran on foot south along the back of the mall.  As Deputy Cereghino pursued GRAY on foot, GRAY slowed and turned, reaching for one of the two loaded handguns he had in his waist.  Deputy Cereghino fired numerous shots striking GRAY in the chest, arm and abdomen area.
 
A 9mm semi automatic firearm flew from GRAY's hand and was recovered near where GRAY was shot.  Another handgun was recovered from GRAY's waist band area.
 
Sergeant Mikkola was shot in the leg and chest area and is still recovering from his gun shot wounds.  He was able to testify before the Grand Jury.  A hospital official advised that Sergeant Mikkola is in good condition and was transferred Tuesday to the Salem Hospital rehabilitation unit.
 
Twenty-seven witnesses, including civilians and police officers, testified before the Grand Jury.
 
GRAY was indicted by the Marion County Grand Jury on the following charges:
  • Four (4) counts of Attempted Aggravated Murder
  • Assault in the First Degree
  • Two (2) counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon
  • Felon in Possession of a Firearm
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • Burglary in the First Degree
 
A hospital official advised GRAY is in critical condition.
 
The Marion County DA's office will not be releasing any further information in relation to the shooting or the other charges from the Grand Jury indictment because of the pending charges against GRAY.