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Man Shot After Being Pulled Over by Detective in Unmarked Police CarTim King Salem-News.com
"After a male subject quickly exited, he was shot and injured by the Salem Police detective..."
(ALBANY OR) - Additional information released by Oregon State Police (OSP) at 1:18 a.m. indicates that the man shot by a Salem Police detective alongside Interstate-5 last night was armed. The police have not stated whether or not the man was a licensed gun owner, or if he had armed himself in a legal manner because he feared for his life as he was being pulled over at night by a detective and a Dept. of Justice investigator in an unmarked police car.
Just days ago KOIN TV in Portland spoke to with Oregon State Police Sgt. Pete Simpson, who specifically said, motorists can be sure an unmarked car is indeed a law enforcement officer because "the officers are wearing uniforms."
The following is from OSP:
Updated information approved for release indicates on December 5, 2013 at approximately 7:50 p.m., Salem Police Detective Angus "Scott" Emmons and a Department of Justice investigator were traveling southbound on Interstate 5 south of Albany enroute to an assignment as part of an active investigation. Near Brownsville, a pickup passed their unmarked vehicle recklessly at a high rate of speed operated in an erratic and dangerous manner.
Detective Emmons attempted to stop the pickup with the emergency lights in his vehicle, but the pickup's driver failed to pull over. As Detective Emmons was calling for further assistance, the pickup suddenly stopped and the driver confronted Detective Emmons while armed with a firearm. Detective Emmons fired and hit the male suspect with his duty firearm.
Detective Emmons and the other investigator administered first aid to the suspect until other officers and medical personnel arrived. The suspect was transported to a local hospital for treatment. The injured man's condition is not being released at this time but information indicates he is expected to survive. There were no other injuries.
The use of unmarked police cars in traffic stops is an extremely controversial subject that Salem-News.com has written about many times in the past.
In fact just a few days ago, on the 26th November 2013, I interviewed Kevin Schmadeka in Washington, who says the cars are simply illegal, adding that they confuse motorists, by legitimizing the idea that any car on the road with a red light is a cop, it simply is not true. At this point unmarked cars in his state will not pull him over for fear of legal repercussions in court. (see: Washington Man Takes Unmarked Police Traffic Stops to Task).
This time the use of an unmarked car for traffic detail led to a man being shot. The following is from the press release from Oregon State Police:
"Preliminary information indicates on December 5, 2013 at approximately 7:50 p.m., the Salem police detective and a Department of Justice investigator were traveling southbound on Interstate 5 south of Albany enroute to an assignment in Lane County.
"A pickup passed their unmarked vehicle recklessly at a high rate of speed.
"They tried to initiate a traffic stop and the driver failed to yield for an unspecified distance before it suddenly stopped.
"After a male subject quickly exited, he was shot and injured by the Salem police detective."
Without having confirmed certain parts of this story, it sounds like a man was driving, suddenly he was being pursued, and possibly pulled over in an act of road rage. Police can assess the title of "Reckless Driving" to a fairly minor driving offense.
The shooting involved a Salem police detective assigned to an inter-agency task force from outside of the Linn County area. It seems safe to assume that the Salem detective was not wearing a uniform, since most detectives do not. Therefore, this may be a case of an unmarked car and an identified police officer.
The press release stated:
"Preliminary information indicates on December 5, 2013 at approximately 7:50 p.m., the Salem police detective and a Department of Justice investigator were traveling southbound on Interstate 5 south of Albany en-route to an assignment in Lane County."
After the shooting, area law enforcement agencies were notified and responded to the scene.
Emergency medical care was started on the wounded man and then he was transported to an area hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound.
The injured man's condition is not being released at this time but information indicates he is expected to survive.
Detectives from Oregon State Police and Linn County Major Crime Team have been called out to investigate.
The involved agency and names are not being released at this time.
The detective will be placed on administrative leave, a standard procedure following an incident of this nature.
Police in Salem and the surrounding areas are some of the only officers in the U.S. who are not trained to shoot strictly to kill. I can say as a reporter who has covered many Salem area shootings, that the rate of non-fatal incidents is in itself a positive reflection of local training.
I am curious to know exactly what this pick up driver was doing that required the use of an unmarked car for a traffic stop. People speed and drive recklessly all day long on most freeways, it doesn't seem like a life and death issue. We will have to wait and see what the police have to add. The story at this point is very preliminary. Still, it seems simple enough in this day and age for a detective to call ahead to a regular police car, rather than initiating a pursuit along with a second presumably unidentified law enforcement officer.
The following information is from the 1:18 a.m. news release from Oregon State Police:
Detectives from Oregon State Police Criminal Investigations Division and Linn County Major Crime Team were called out to investigate. Other agencies responding include Linn County Sheriff's Office, Albany Police Department, Oregon Department of Justice, Salem Police Department, Albany Fire Department, and Linn County District Attorney's Office.
Detective Emmons will be placed on administrative leave, a standard procedure following an incident of this nature.
Investigators are asking to speak with any witnesses who were passing the scene at the time of the shooting. Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact OSP Detective Kyle Wilson at (503) 934-0355.
Future release of information related to this investigation will come from the Linn County District Attorney's Office.
Special thanks to Salem-News.com's Jerry Freeman
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