Man wanted for Molalla attempted murder on the loose
An attempted murder suspect is on the loose after reportedly shooting a man in the neck outside Molalla Thursday afternoon. In response to the nearby shooting activity, Rural Dell Elementary School observed a lockout.
On April 5 just after 1 p.m., police received a 911 call from 9981 S. Schneider Rd. near Dryland Road outside Molalla, reporting a shooting. Upon arrival, police found the victim and several witnesses at the scene, but the suspect had fled, according to Clackamas County Sheriff PIO Brian Jensen.
Gunshot victim Tihan "Tom" Mamatieff was transported by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment of a serious gunshot wound, per a CCSO press release.
Police have identified the shooting suspect as Jeramie Thomas, 37, a transient with a last known address in the Salem/Gervais area, according to the release. He reportedly pulled an unknown-caliber handgun and shot Mametieff in the neck during a confrontation at the residence.
Jensen said the shooter and the victim know one another, or "are known to one another."
Thomas is considered armed and dangerous, and if anyone sees him, they should call 911. His description is as follows:
At approximately 1:20 p.m. Thursday, the sheriff's office notified Rural Dell Elementary School personnel about the situation.
"It was close enough, so we were taking all precautions necessary," Jensen said.
The call from police prompted school staff to implement a lockout, which means they secured the doors, not allowing any movement in or out of the buildings, and posted signs indicating they were observing a lockout, but otherwise conducted business within the building as usual.
"At that call, having determined that there was activity in the area that could be a danger to students and staff, we went straight to protocol," said Rural Dell Principal Larry Conley. "We follow something called the 'standard response protocol.' The description given to us qualified for a lockout. So, immediately picked up the PA system, announced, 'Lockout, secure the perimeter.'"
Staff and students at Rural Dell had been taught previously how to respond in various emergency situations like the nearby shooting activity Thursday.
"I'm really proud of our kids and staff and the degree to which the protocols were implemented and the degree to which folks were flexible, and helpful and responsive to the needs of students and families," Conley said. "Just really proud of our staff."
The Department of Human Services was also in contact with the school Thursday regarding the situation, according to Molalla River School District Superintendent Tony Mann. Conley declined to comment on DHS's involvement.
On Friday, school staff watched as students were arriving to determine if kids were noticeably upset over Thursday's events.
"The centerpiece of our conversation this morning was around the notion that in situations which produce some anxiety, like a drill or actual event, individuals process that anxiety in different ways," Conley said Friday. "Some become hyper-focused and want to be super helpful, some just need something to do, some become emotionally withdrawn and shut down a little bit, some kids become a little goofy. Our focus today was that all of those are normal, natural responses for kids and adults, that we're honoring how folks felt in the moment and using some class time today to kind of talk through what went well and what we might be able to do next time."
Administrators posted a letter to Rural Dell families on their website to provide information about the lockout. Time will be allotted for further conversations at the regularly scheduled Parent-Teacher Club meeting on April 10 at 3:45 p.m. in the Rural Dell library.
This story has been updated.