Northeast Salem turned into a major crime scene Saturday evening involving two car jackings, gun fire and eventual arrests, according to the Salem Police Department and witnesses.
The police agency described the events in a news release but didn’t identify victims or those later arrested.
According to the statement, a woman reported to police at 6:26 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, that two men tried to take her car in an encounter at Southeast 17th Avenue and Southeast Hine Street. One of the men was armed, she reported.
While investigating that crime, police spotted a vehicle at Northeast 18th Street and Northeast Center Street that was taken in an earlier carjacking. The statement provided no information about that carjacking, but police pursued the vehicle.
“The vehicle eventually stopped, and three occupants fled on foot,” the police statement said. “A Salem police officer chased after the suspects and was involved in an exchange of gunfire at 14th St NE and B St NE.”
Two men were arrested and a handgun found, police said. The third suspect couldn’t be located, the statement said.
Because of the shooting, the Oregon State Police will investigate. The officer involved in the shooting has been put on administrative leave, the police statement said.
Social media was flooded by reports of the crime, including an unfounded report that a teenager had been shot and killed.
At North Salem High School, the theater cast was about to stage its evening show of “Treasure Island.”
“Right when the show started there was police activity near but not in or related to North, which led to lots of speculation and concern (and flashing lights),” Alyssa Bond, North’s theater director, wrote in a public statement. “What is most important to know is that we were never in danger in the school. Security and admin immediately locked all external doors and we continued our wonderful show.”
Contact Editor Les Zaitz: [email protected]
Les Zaitz is editor and CEO of Salem Reporter. He co-founded the news organization in 2018. He has been a journalist in Oregon for nearly 50 years in both daily and community newspapers and digital news services. He is nationally recognized for his commitment to local journalism. He also is editor and publisher of the Malheur Enterprise in Vale, Oregon.