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1970: Local man taken into custody after shooting spree in downtown Prineville

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - December 31, 1970: Two bullets were fired through the front door of city hall late Tuesday, narrowly missing police Sergeant Fred Finley. The bullets passed through three panes of glass, one disintegrating in the State Police Office, the other lodging itself in the hallway of the police department. The shots were fired from Stryker Field a block away from the city hall. Lonnie Wilkes, 24, was arrested 40
minutes later and charged with assault while being armed with a dangerous weapon. No motive was given for the incident. City Administrator Jim Watson estimates damage to the building at approximately $700.

95 years ago

December 31, 1925

Schools throughout the county and Crook county high school will reopen again on Monday after the Christmas vacation. The grade schools opened Monday. The epidemic of scarlet fever and smallpox seems to have passed. No new cases have been reported of either disease and nearly all those previously reported have been released from quarantine.

75 years ago

January 3, 1945

Warm rains which melted snow in the hills sent McKay creek on a rampage last weekend, cutting the city of Prineville Railway and the Prineville-Madras highways near Pine Products mill. The creek reached the flood stage last Friday after three days of rain, breaking into an old channel and clogging culverts on the highways and railroad with debris.

50 years ago

December 31, 1970 Lonnie Wilkes, 24, was taken into custody by city police late Tuesday night following a shooting spree in downtown Prineville. He is charged with assault while being armed with a dangerous weapon. Bail has been set at $3,000.

Wilkes allegedly broke a window in the rear of K'nK Sport Shop, and then broke through a sliding partition window to gain entry into the store proper. Once inside he took a model 88 Winchester .243 automatic rifle and several boxes of ammunition. Several articles of clothing were strewn behind the counter. A hat and a pair of gloves were also found in Wilkes' possession. Once in possession of the weapon Wilkes apparently went around discharging it at various targets. City police reported several calls from people believing kids were throwing firecrackers.

25 years ago

January 2, 1996

A resident of South Deer Street was found injured Saturday evening, the victim of an alleged self-inflicted gunshot.

Prineville police officers and Crook County Sheriff's deputies responded to the reported gun shot at about 6:22 p.m. They found the man, 46-year-old Herman Melvin Beitz Jr., and rushed him to Pioneer Memorial Hospital where he later died from the wound.

After an investigation of the scene, it was determined that Beitz had shot himself with a small caliber handgun.


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