Douglas County, OR. – Bob (name withheld for privacy) was sitting at Love’s truck stop parking lot next to I-5 and exit 119 last night in his vehicle scrolling through Facebook. In a moment of miraculous fate, Bob’s friend had just shared a Facebook post about a Subaru that was stolen in Eugene a few days ago. It included a picture of the vehicle with a large American flag on the back windows. Bob looked 6 feet to his right and there was the Subaru sitting right next to him. His mind was blown.
He quickly messaged the owner of the car up in Eugene to confirm it was indeed his vehicle. Bob knew this could be serious. It was confirmed to be the stolen vehicle. Bob walked across the parking lot and called Eugene police right away, and they instructed Bob to call Roseburg PD. Bob then called Roseburg PD non-emergency number and got no answer, and at that point Bob called 911. Two sheriff vehicles and one state police vehicle showed up within 5-10 minutes.
Things moved quickly at this point. The suspects in the stolen Subaru went to a pump, got some gas, went back to a parking spot for a minute then started to leave the Loves Truck Stop parking lot towards Grant Smith Road. When they got to Grant Smith Road, two
Douglas County Sheriffs vehicles and one Oregon State Patrol vehicle arrived just at that moment, before 6pm. The patrol vehicles prevented the suspects from turning right, on Grants Smith Road, and at the last moment, the suspect veered hard left and raced up Grants Smith Road. Again, looking back, this was a miraculous moment. Things likely could have turned out very differently for everyone, Sheriffs officers, State Police, the Public etc had the suspects been allowed to turn right in that moment.
Literally seconds later the suspects were forced to turn off Grants Smith road and into a ranch property where they got stuck out in the middle of a field.
Stacey (not her real name) and her husband were on the side of the freeway when they noticed the Subaru head down the dead end road and figured they would just get a good video of a dummy getting stuck out in the mud. Then the shooting started and Stacey and her husband, completely shocked, started realizing the gravity of the situation they were filming.
Moments later the Subaru caught fire and Stacey never saw the suspect leave the area of the vehicle. The videos Stacey might have been instrumental in proving that the suspect did not leave the area of the car during or after the shooting stopped. This likely helped end the manhunt that was underway to find the suspect in the dark using thermal cameras.
A short while later a Code 4 was issued, which means no further assistance needed and a 12-34 was issued to resume Normal Operations and Traffic.
No law enforcement officers or civilians were injured during this entire incident, again miraculously. I would like to thank everyone at The Douglas County Sheriffs department, Oregon State Police as well as Roseburg PD and all the other responding law enforcement officers. You all did an amazing job helping keep the community safe.
Also, major shout out to “Bob” for being alert and using social media in a remarkable way to help law enforcement take care of a very dangerous situation.
Also, shout out to “Stacey” for taking video of it. People often question taking video of such events but this is a classic example of how important video evidence can be.
I believe some local residents have identified the deceased primary suspect that was driving the vehicle and that subsequently got into the shootout with law enforcement. I’m not going to publish the information and I will wait for law enforcement to confirm his identity.
Local law enforcement is currently seeking the identity of the driver (now deceased individual) that was shooting at law enforcement.
Have a great day everyone, and if you see any law enforcement officers today, tell them thank you.
Follow Ryan on twitter @ryanfinlay
Here is a police released picture of the suspect leaving the W.11th Wal Mart.
If you have any information regarding the identity of this subject please call the Tip Line at (541-957-2099)
Editor’s Note: The car was stolen out of the Eugene W.11th Walmart on March 7th, 2019. A fully loaded AK-47 with a 75 round drum, and a Glock 9mm were in the car at the time it was stolen.