UPDATE: One dead, 2 boys injured in shooting at Bush’s Pasture Park

Update, 3:55 p.m.

One person died and two young men were injured in a shooting Thursday afternoon at Bush’s Pasture Park, Salem police said in a news release.

Officers are still searching for one suspect.

Police responded to the south side of the park, near the intersection of southeast High and Leffelle streets, around 1:45 p.m. They found a male victim dead and two boys injured with gunshot wounds.

The boys were transported to Salem Hospital for medical treatment. Police did not have the age of the dead victim confirmed.

Police released no information about what prompted the shooting. The medical condition of the surviving victims was unknown.

The Upper Leffelle portion of the park remains closed for an investigation. Neighbors should avoid the area, police said.

Salem Hospital’s campus, adjacent to the park, was in lockdown starting at 2:39 p.m., according to an email spokeswoman Lisa Wood.

“While there was no immediate known threat to Salem Hospital, out of an abundance of caution, Salem Hospital remained in a Code Silver lockdown through 4:00 p.m.,” Wood said, the code relating to an armed person.

Update, 3:20 p.m.

The lockdown at South Salem High School has been lifted, Salem-Keizer School District spokesman Aaron Harada said. After school activities at South are canceled Thursday.

Original story below:

Salem police are investigating a Thursday afternoon shooting at Bush’s Pasture Park that prompted lockdowns at two nearby schools. Police provided no details.

Witnesses reported seeing a body at the park, but there was no confirmation from law enforcement officials.

South Salem High School was put on level three lockdown at 1:50 p.m. That status is generally reserved for a threat in the building and means students and teachers barricade themselves in classrooms. 

District spokesman Aaron Harada said there was no active shooter at the school. All students and staff are safe, he reported.

The high school is about three blocks south of the edge of the 90-acre park. Police were at the school as of 2:15 p.m. Thursday.

The park entrance at Leffelle Street is closed. “Please avoid the area and use of the park due to officers working a shooting investigation,” the Salem Police Department wrote on X just after 2 p.m. 

Salem police were investigating a shooting on Thursday, March 7, at Bush’s Pasture Park. South Salem High School, three blocks from the park boundary, was put in lockdown. (Google Maps)

Salem police said in the post that they would provide no additional information. The agency could not be reached by phone and did not immediately respond to questions about when the shooting occurred, whether anyone was injured or the status of any suspect.

Matthew Boulay, executive director at the Salem Art Association, said that he was not onsite, but was told by staff that they heard gunshots in the park before seeing the suspected shooter run in the direction of South Salem High School.

McKinley Elementary School, 466 McGilchrist St. S.E., was also placed on a lower-level lockdown Thursday afternoon.

Harada said the lockdown at South was being downgraded as of 2:20 p.m.

This is a developing story and will continue to be updated.

Police tape marked off an area of Bush’s Pasture Park along Southeast Leffelle Street following a shooting the afternoon of Thursday, March 7. (Abbey McDonald/Salem Reporter)
Police tape marked off an area of Bush’s Pasture Park along Southeast Leffelle Street following a shooting the afternoon of Thursday, March 7. (Abbey McDonald/Salem Reporter)

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.