Pursuit ends with officer-involved shooting
An investigation into the officer-involved shooting of an 18-year-old Sunriver man is continuing, following an incident Nov. 2.
Christopher James Thomas Sweeney was shot around 11 p.m. last Thursday, after a police chase that started in Deschutes County, south of Bend.
According to an Oregon State Police report, two Deschutes County Sheriff's Office deputies spotted two vehicles which had been reported stolen traveling north on U.S. Highway 97, near Lava Butte. The deputies followed the vehicles — a 2007 Toyota Highlander sport utility vehicle and a 2004 Chevrolet Venture minivan on to the Bend Parkway.
With assistance from the Bend Police Department, the deputies attempted to stop the vehicles. The Toyota Highlander, driven by Corey Joseph Gallagher, 19, of Portland, stopped, and Gallagher was taken into custody without incident.
He was charged with criminal conspiracy, first-degree theft, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
The driver of the Chevrolet, later identified as Sweeney, did not stop, and continued north on the highway, at high rates of speed, despite numerous officers' attempts to stop him with the use of spike strips.
The vehicle was pursued by the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police until the van passed into Jefferson County, when the DCSO stopped their pursuit, and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office joined the pursuit.
Near L Street in Madras, after the north and southbound lanes separated, Sweeney lost control of the vehicle and came to a stop.
"The suspect, armed with a semiautomatic pistol, exited the minivan and confronted the officers," noted Sgt. Yvette Shephard, assisting public information officer for OSP, in a press release. "Both an Oregon State Police sergeant and Jefferson County Sheriff's deputy discharged their firearms at the suspect."
Sweeney's firearm was located at the scene.
Investigators have not reported the extent of Sweeney's injuries, but he was airlifted to St. Charles Bend for treatment. The officers were not injured.
On Monday, KTVZ reported that Sweeney's condition had been upgraded to fair, but on Tuesday, hospital public information officer Lisa Goodman commented, "I can neither confirm nor deny he is a patient at one of our hospitals."
The Central Oregon Major Incident Team was activated at 11:15 p.m., and continued its investigation Friday morning, Nov. 3, as the northbound lanes of Highway 97 remained closed and traffic was detoured around the closure.
Following the procedure laid out in Senate Bill 111, passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2007, the officers involved were placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is investigated. No further information has been released.