State SWAT team's response closes highway as police catch suspectThe reasons why a sniper opened up on cars traveling along U.S. Highway 30 Monday remain a mystery.
The unnamed man has "mental issues" and is undergoing psychiatric evaluations today, while the man shot in the stomach is recovering from surgery.
The drama caused the highway around Clatskanie to be closed for 51/2 hours as Oregon State Police and other law agencies, including the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office, tracked down the man they believed did the shooting.
Several people were told not to return to their homes until the danger had passed as a heavily armed state police SWAT team in camouflage fatigues responded to anchor the search.
Scott Lannan, 42, of Clatskanie had been at Georgia-Pacific's Wauna Mill before being shot as he drove east on Highway 30.
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Police officers preparing to search for the suspect don bullet-proof vests under their camouflage fatigues.He was taken to St. John Medical Center in Longview, Wash., where doctors removed what they thought was a .22-caliber bullet, according to Lannan's supervisor. He was upgraded from serious to stable condition and transferred out of the hospital's critical care unit today, said hospital spokesman Randy Querin.
Co-workers of Lannan at Overhead Door Co. in Longview, Wash., heard the incident unfold on two-way radios as Lannan drove a company pickup east from Wauna at 2:20 p.m. and called 9-1-1, owner Bill Martin told the Longview Daily News.
The shot pierced Lannan's abdomen and lodged in his liver, his supervisor said.
Minutes later, a bullet struck a second pickup, said Lt. John Wood of the Oregon State Police. The other driver was not hurt.
Law agencies descended on the rural area at high speeds and television helicopters from Portland were soon seen circling overhead. First reports were that the suspect had a green shirt, but few other details were forthcoming. Officers staged in an empty lot on the east end of Clatskanie, north of the highway.
CapturedPolice took a man who has "mental issues" to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation Monday night, Wood said. The man, whom police described as a "person of interest," lives near the scene of the shooting, he said.
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Toby Harris, owner of the Clatskanie Fultano's, gives out free water and sells pizzas to truck drivers, many who were stopped, unable to take the detour due to weight restrictions, for over five hours on Highway 30 in Clatskanie.Wood said the man, whose name has not been released, was inside his home when police took him into custody, still wearing the green shirt witnesses had described to police. No details were released of the weapon.
Wood said family members cooperated with officers.
"He is no longer a threat to the community, and we will get to the bottom of this," Wood told KGW TV.
Tended woundCompany owner Bill Martin's 32-year-old son, Bob Martin, was in the passenger seat of the pickup when Lannan was shot. He told him to pull over, but Lannan said he knew he had to get out of the area first, Bill Martin told the Daily News.
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Two Oregon State Police SWAT team members prepare to search for the person who shot and injured a driver on U.S. Highway 30 near Clatskanie. Authorities shut the highway near Clatskanie after bullets struck two pickup trucks Monday afternoon.Bob Martin, with shards of glass embedded in his arms from the truck's broken window, applied pressure to Lannan's wound, following instructions from a 9-1-1 dispatcher relayed by his mother, Charlene Martin, over the company radio.
Lannan's stepson, Ryan Larson, 14, who rode the school bus home from Clatskanie Middle/High School Monday afternoon, arrived just as his mother was leaving to go to the hospital. The Lannans live three miles from U.S. Highway 30.
Cooperation was keyWood said rapid response by several law enforcement agencies from Columbia and Clatsop counties made it possible to capture the suspect quickly.
The investigation involved the Oregon State Police from Astoria, St. Helens and Portland, assisted by members of the OSP SWAT Team, Clatsop County Sheriff's Office, Cowlitz County, Wash., Sheriff's Office K-9 unit, St Helens Police Department officers and K-9 unit, Rainier Police Department, Clatskanie Police Department, Columbia County Sheriff's Office and ODOT.
The Daily News and KGW TV contributed to this coverage