Police: Man arrested after firing at officers in Molalla
A man shot a rifle and sidearm at police officers from a house in the 700 block of West Main Street in Molalla, Monday Oct. 4, forcing an evacuation and lockdowns from a nearby grocery store and two schools, the Molalla Police Department said.
Oregon State Police confirmed that the suspected shooter is 48-year-old Brian Scott Mills.
The incident started when officers responded to a medical call Monday, Chief Frank Schoenfeld said during a press conference. When police arrived, a man put on body armor and opened fire from inside his house on the responding officers and civilians.
Police said there were about 50 people in the area when the man fired his weapons.
"They were directly in the line of fire, the construction area, the shopping center," Schoenfeld said. "We evacuated and locked those areas down."
Three cars were struck by bullets, he said, including two pickup trucks and a police patrol car.
The suspect "fired from the house, from a window, adjacent to the door," Schoenfeld said. "Officers were not hit, thank goodness. Subject was taken into custody without incident."
Police spent about 40 minutes convincing the man to surrender, ultimately arresting him safely. The suspect was not harmed, Schoenfeld said, and he was later lodged at Clackamas County Jail and held on charges of attempted aggravated murder, attempted assault first degree, unlawful use of a weapon and recklessly endangering. His bail is set at $1 million.
One civilian was injured and transported to the hospital, according to a news release from Molalla Police later in the day, and one officer fired their weapon.
Authorities secured the area, Schoenfeld said, and there is no ongoing threat to the public.
Meanwhile, Molalla River Middle School and Molalla Elementary School were placed on lockdown around 10:50 a.m. amid the "significant police activity in the neighborhood south of the schools," according to a statement from the Molalla River School District.
The schools returned to normal operations just after noon on Monday.
Police have not identified the officer who fired their weapon, but they did say in the release that the officer was placed on administrative leave pursuant to Clackamas County Senate Bill 111 protocols.
The exact circumstances leading up to the shooting have not yet been released. Oregon State Police is leading an investigation in cooperation with the Clackamas County Major Crime Team.
Witnesses report chaotic scene
Doug McEwing was working near Fred's convenience store when the panic began.
"I saw a man jumped out of his truck with blood on his neck. He ran into the store and there was chaos," McEwing told KOIN 6 News. "I heard … I thought it was a car backfire. It was so loud. And then I heard a few more pops. So I ran into the store."
That's when McEwing realized there was a shooting nearby and the man thought he had been shot.
"He narrowly, I mean, so close to being, like, seriously injured," McEwing said.
He sought medical attention to help with the man's shrapnel wound while police worked on taking the suspected shooter into custody.
"There was just the most police and first responders I've ever seen in my life," he said. "It was like every car passing (was) police."
McEwing said it was amazing that despite the utter chaos, there were no fatalities or life-threatening injuries.
Resident Ashley Ramirez told KOIN 6 News shootings in Molalla are uncommon. She came home from school and saw "a lot of sheriffs on the street, a lot of cops and I got scared."
This story has been updated.
KOIN 6 is a Pamplin Media Group news partner.
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