Police: Customized pistol hits Oregon City officer in eye

Clackamas County

Clackamas sheriff's office deputies shoot back at suspect charged with attempted murder

COURTESY PHOTO: CCSO – A suspect allegedly fired at deputies and officers with a pistol encased in a custom stock containing a high-capacity single-drum magazine.

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PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — Clackamas County deputies Robert Cordova and Jonathan Zacharkiw exchanged gunfire with a suspect in Oregon City, according to the police account of the incident newly released in the wake of an indictment of Northeast Portland resident Gerald Leroy Barnes II, 48.

On May 10, County Circuit Judge Susie L. Norby denied Barnes’ request to be released from jail and set bail at $1 million. On May 17, a Clackamas County grand jury indicted Barnes on three counts of attempted aggravated murder, one count of first-degree assault, two counts of attempted assault, unlawful use of a weapon and attempting to elude.

Cordova and Zacharkiw exchanged fire with Barnes after Barnes allegedly used a pistol to fire several rounds through his own windshield and passenger-side window. Barnes shattered the windows of the 1985 Chevrolet Monte Carlo he was driving, and fragment from one of Barnes’ bullets hit Oregon City Officer Chris Brosseau, according to a forensic investigation on the piece of metal removed from Brosseau’s eye.

Police said Brosseau, a three-and-a-half-year veteran of OCPD, had just thrown spike strips in front of the Monte Carlo as Barnes sped down Highway 213 north of Redland Road. As the suspect’s vehicle passed Redland Road, Zacharkiw, a six-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, joined the pursuit northbound on Highway 213.

Deputies continued to pursue Barnes approximately another eighth mile, with the suspect slowing to about 30 mph. Police said Barnes’s vehicle weaved on Highway 213 as it continued toward the onramp to I-205 northbound. Barnes allegedly continued to shoot at pursuing deputies, striking Zacharkiw’s patrol car.

As the Monte Carlo came to a stop on the I-205 northbound onramp, Barnes opened his car door, according to the police report. The two deputies stopped their patrol vehicles a few car lengths behind the suspect and returned fire.

When deputies hit Barnes in the shoulder with a single bullet, the suspect dropped his “customized pistol” on the ground. The deputies stopped firing their weapons and took Barnes into custody, treating his shoulder injury until American Medical Response paramedics arrived and took over care. A hospital determined the shoulder injury wasn’t life threatening and released Barnes back to investigators that evening.

Investigators recovered two additional loaded firearms from the vehicle, as well as a high-capacity two-drum magazine. The weapon Barnes allegedly fired at deputies and officers was a pistol encased in a custom stock with a high-capacity single-drum magazine.

The incident started at 6:46 p.m. on Saturday, May 8, when Cordova, a five-and-a-half-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, was conducting routine traffic enforcement in Mulino. Cordova attempted to stop Barnes for driving 16 miles over the posted speed limit of 35, but Barnes allegedly refused to pull over, instead fleeing north on Highway 213. When he reached Leland Road, Cordova called for backup and Oregon City police officers responded by laying out spike strips on Highway 213 and Redland Road.

Brosseau may lose vision in one eye, due to Barnes’ gunfire on May 8, police said. An OCPD officer for more than three years, Brosseau underwent surgery to remove the bullet fragment and according to OCPD is “receiving excellent medical care” from eye specialists who hope to restore his vision as he recovers from home.

Multiple citizens and officers stopped to render aid to Brosseau after his eye was injured. OCPD thanked the community for its continued support for Brosseau’s recovery.

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