Third boy, 15, accused of taking part in cat killing in SE Salem 

Police on Wednesday arrested a third teenager in the shooting death of a neighborhood cat last month in southeast Salem but have not found the person who actually did the shooting.

The 15-year-old boy was arrested at his northeast Salem home on allegations of aggravated first-degree animal abuse, tampering with evidence and interfering with a peace officer, the Salem Police Department said in a news release.

He was lodged in the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center, according to Salem police spokeswoman Angela Hedrick.

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His arrest comes a week after two other boys, both 17, were arrested for their roles in the cat killing.

The boy arrested on Wednesday is scheduled to appear Thursday morning in Marion County Juvenile Court.

Salem police have not said whether they’ve identified who pulled the trigger. Juvenile records are generally confidential.

Police are still investigating the cat killing and the person who shot the cat “remains outstanding,” Hedrick said Wednesday night.

Officers responded on May 10 to reports of a cat being shot to death on the sidewalk outside a home in a southeast Salem neighborhood. 

The residents’ security camera captured the act on video around 2:30 a.m. that morning. The recording showed five teens gathered around the pregnant cat, named Vortex, before one of them shot and killed the cat with what appeared to be a rifle. 

Under Oregon law, maliciously killing an animal is a class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $125,000. An adjudication in juvenile court can result in the same commitment period, the youth equivalent of a sentence.


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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.