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Jul-20-2006 09:58TweetFollow @OregonNews
Armed Robbery Suspect Shot And Killed by PoliceKevin Hays Salem-News.com
The officer who fired the shot was identified as Dezi Meza, a 5-year veteran of the Albany Police Department. As is common in any traumatic incident, Officer Meza is now on paid administrative leave.
(ALBANY) - An Albany police officer shot and killed 32-year-old Rachel Lea Soto, who was wanted by police in connection with three armed robberies. It happened early Thursday morning in the 3800 block of SE Mountain View Drive in Albany.
Capt. Eric Carter says officer Dezi Meza stopped to investigate a vehicle with two occupants inside.
Once at the vehicle, the officer drew his service weapon after he recognized the rear passenger as Rachel Soto.
The officer ultimately fired a single round from his service weapon after Soto drew a handgun Carter said. Soto was pronounced dead at the scene by medics.
The Oregon State Police, in conjunction with the Linn County District Attorney’s Office, is investigating the incident.
Soto was wanted in connection with the following armed robberies that occurred in Albany and Corvallis earlier this month.
The first robbery took place at the 7-11 store located at 6190 SW Pacific Boulevard at 4:00 PM. on July 10th.
Soto walked into the 7-11, asked the clerk for a pack of cigarettes, and then walked towards the door carrying the cigarettes.
When the clerk told Soto she needed to pay for the cigarettes, Soto pulled a chrome .38 caliber revolver from a pants pocket and pointed it at the clerk. Soto fled south through the parking lot on foot.
The second robbery took place at the Econo Lodge Motel located at 1212 SE Price Road at 9:30 PM. Soto walked into the motel lobby and demanded money from the clerk. Soto displayed what was described as a black semi-automatic pistol in her waist band. They say she fled south through the parking lot on foot with several hundred dollars in cash.
The Corvallis Police Department is also investigating a similar robbery that took place on the evening of July 10th.
A female entered the Hallmark store, located at 932 NW Circle Blvd, produced a handgun and stole an undisclosed amount of cash from the business.
The suspect who police believe was Soto, fled the area in a gold colored Isuzu Rodeo SUV that had previously been reported stolen.
The SUV was recovered unoccupied a short time later two blocks away.
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