Heritage Specialty Foods manager and Portland resident Carl Hellinger, 36, was shot and killed at the business near the South Metro Area Regional Transit (SMART) headquarters on Boberg Road in Wilsonville Friday morning.
The suspect in the case, 25-year-old Woodburn resident Camilo Santiago-Santiago, was a former Heritage Specialty Foods employee who was recently fired. Santiago-Santiago was booked into Clackamas County Jail on charges of second degree murder and felon in possession of a weapon.
"The news of this senseless violence comes as a shock to all of us. We ask for the community's prayers and support for survivors and all of our team members during this time," a Heritage Specialty Foods statement read.
The Wilsonville Police Department and the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene at 8:20 a.m. Hellinger died at the scene and no one else was shot or injured. Santiago-Santiago fled but officers learned where he was headed and that he was driving a red Sedan.
Then, Santiago-Santiago was spotted by a Marion County Sheriff's Office deputy in Woodburn after the shooting. Following a police pursuit and with support from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office SWAT team, the Marion County Sheriff's Office SWAT team and the Salem Police SWAT team, officers surrounded Santiago-Santiago and pinned his car between two vehicles on a dead-end street at Woodland Avenue. Santiago-Santiago, barricaded himself in his Sedan and yelled at law enforcement to shoot him before surrendering at about 9:30 a.m. Police seized several guns including a pistol in Santiago-Santiago's waistband.
Detectives then interviewed Santiago-Santiago and searched his home midday Friday.
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Sgt. and Public Information Officer Mark Mendoza said during a press conference Friday morning that about 20 employees were at the business at the time of the shooting. The investigation is ongoing.
"We want to make sure everything gets done correctly and with great detail. We don't want to make any mistakes," Wilsonville Police Chief Rob Wurpes said at the press conference. "The priority is we take our time, are methodical, leave no stone unturned and everything is looked at as closely as we can."
Wurpes noted that violent incidents like this are rare in Wilsonville. The last shooting in town occurred in Memorial Park in 2018. No one was killed in that incident.
"This level of violence is very uncommon in Wilsonville. We enjoy a very low crime rate here typically," Wurpes said.
Mendoza said he was thankful that just one person was injured in the incident considering the shooting took place at a populated building, while Wurpes noted the toll events like these can take on the community and particularly affected families.
"These things are very difficult for the community, difficult for the schools, difficult for the residents. It's hard on the business," Wurpes said. "These things are difficult to work through for everybody including and especially the families involved."
The Spokesman will update this story as more information is released.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.