MADRAS, OR -- The investigation continues into an officer-involved shooting near the Jefferson County fair Friday evening. The incident shutdown Highway 97 for several hours.
The Jefferson County Sheriff says law enforcement responded to a report of a man at the fairgrounds with a long rifle at about 5 p.m. He ran to a nearby business where the Sheriff says the suspect was shot by law enforcement when he tried to get inside while still armed. There is no word on the suspect's condition.
Jefferson County deputies and Madras Police were involved in the case, although no details have been released about who fired on the suspect. "When an incident like this occurs and members of a small law enforcement agency act and have to use deadly physical force, agency protocol requires those officers and deputies must be put on paid administrative leave until an investigation of their use of force is completed by an outside agency or agencies. This leave can have a large impact on small agencies, which in turn can have a large impact on services to the community," the Sheriff said in a weekend Facebook post, "As a result, it is imperative that smaller agencies like your Sheriff's Office maintain strong working relationships with surrounding agencies."
The Sheriff also says counselors are available for people who may need to speak to someone about what they saw during the fair. "Monday 7/25, BestCare will be offering a community response check-in between 5-7 PM. Clinicians and peer support specialists will be available for youth or adolescents who need someone to talk to. This offering is drop-in (no appointment needed) and is open to the community; the youth do not need to be established clients." He adds, "For those who need/prefer individual appointments, or can't make it tomorrow, there are many options available during the week for one-on-one check-ins. To schedule an individual appointment, please call 541.475.6575."
(UPDATE) -- Court documents reveal 29-year-old Rafael Gomez is accused of stealing a firearm and pointing it at several people, Friday. Prosecutors say Gomez has a 2019 car theft conviction from San Diego County. He faces an Attempted Murder charge, five counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon and one count each of Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Theft. Gomez was booked Sunday into the Jefferson County Jail without Bond, and is scheduled to be arraigned at 2 p.m. Monday.
The District Attorney's Office says his case will be presented to the grand jury later this week, and no other information will be released until the completion of the Use of Force investigation.
Photo courtesy Central Oregon Daily News