Families in Salem neighborhood on edge after shootout

SALEM, Ore. (KGW) — A calm residential neighborhood near North Salem High School was a chaotic scene Saturday night during a shootout between suspects and police that started with a stolen car several blocks away.

White spray-painted marks on the street left by police are now a stark reminder for families that no neighborhood is immune to the rise in crime happening in large cities like Salem.

Salem police said it started around 6:30 p.m. on 17th Street Southeast and Hines Street when two men tried to steal a woman’s car. As police were investigating, they found a previously stolen vehicle several blocks away on 18th Street Northeast and Center Street. When police tried to stop that car, the driver sped off.

Three men were in that car and they eventually stopped on the corner of 14th Street Northeast and B Street and ran from police on foot. It was around 7 p.m. when Salem police chased after them, at which point the suspects and police officers started shooting at each other, according to Salem police. There have been no reported injuries.

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During the shooting, there was a school play and a cheerleading competition happening right across the street at North Salem High School.

“It was kind of frightening,” said Theresa Shelley, whose granddaughter was performing in the play. “My daughter and son in law were there watching it and I was just worried something was going on there.”

Shelley, who lives near where the shooting happened, said multiple police cars raced by her house.

“It’s frightening,” she said. “This is basically a good neighborhood, really, but there are things that happen, you know.”

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After the shooting, police took two of the suspects into custody but couldn’t find the third man, even after using a K9 to search. They also took a handgun from the scene.

“Maybe I should be carrying pepper spray or something,” said Shelley.

Oregon State Police are investigating the shootout. The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave per department protocol.

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