BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office is investigating a report of a person firing a gun outside of the jail in northeast Bend, just before 10 p.m. Thursday. After securing the Sheriff's Office and Jail, the suspect was found near the Sunriver Business Park.
Authorities have released few details but say the suspect led deputies on a pursuit down Highway 97. An arrest was made after the driver ran over spike strips.
DCSO says there is no longer a threat to the public but it is an active investigation.
(4:30 p.m. UPDATE) -- The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office says the man who led deputies on a pursuit in South County Thursday night, also fired one round into the administrative entrance of the jail. Investigators believe he was trying to initiate a confrontation with law enforcement.
They say 25-year-old Nicholas Preston-Cooper drove to a parking lot across Highway 20 from the Sheriff's Office after the shot from a high-powered rifle. When no one confronted him, he returned to Sunriver. At the Sunriver Business Park, investigators say he loaded three firearms, a ballistic vest (that didn't contain ballistic plates) and a lot of ammo into his vehicle.
After the initial report of gunfire, deputies put the jail in lock down, but did not find any suspects nor any evidence a round had actually been fired. With information provided by the original 911 caller, detectives tracked the suspect to the Sunriver Business Park. They say Preston-Cooper sped off, once he realized law enforcement was trying to stop him. Over the course of several miles, he drove the wrong way on Highway 97, which was closed briefly during the chase.
Deputies used spike strips to slow his vehicle and he was eventually stopped with the Pursuit Immobilization Technique (PIT) at the Cottonwood Road exit, where he was taken into custody without further incident.
Preston-Cooper faces numerous charges, including Attempted Assault, Telephonic Harassment and Discharging a Firearm Across a Highway.
Investigators located the damage created by the single round fired at the Jail. The round was able to penetrate the exterior wall of the building, however, came to rest in the interior cinder block wall in the foyer. No Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office employees or civilian staff were present where the round was lodged.
File photo: Deschutes County Jail