PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The man suspected of shooting a woman in Salem and then targeting the victim’s children in Detroit shot and killed himself Tuesday afternoon, officials say.
Authorities said “the suspect and situation are under control” around 1 p.m., but revealed two hours later that the suspect had died from what appeared to be a “self-inflicted gunshot wound.” His identity has yet to be shared with the public.
The Salem Police Department first responded to a report of someone with a gunshot wound on Vista Avenue Southeast around 10:40 a.m.
Officials say the man drove his truck into a home at 1300 Vista Avenue SE, shot a woman inside, and fled the scene. The woman was taken to Salem Health with critical injuries.
The City of Detroit urged residents to stay inside and lock their doors after reporting that the shooting suspect was heading to the area to target the victim’s children, who attend Morningside Elementary School, police said. The school was temporarily in lockdown, which was lifted before 12:30 p.m., officials said.
“At that scene, we learned that the suspect was potentially heading over to Morningside School to try and contact the victims’ children,” Deputy Chief Treven Upkes said. “ We don’t know for what purposes, we assume for nefarious reasons, and so we sent officers over to that location to secure the school.”
In a letter to Morningside families, the school said, “this is an important message from Principal Stenlund regarding today’s increased security measures at our school. Today at approximately 10:45 a.m., we were alerted by our District Safety and Risk Management Team and Law Enforcement that they were investigating a shooting in a neighborhood near our school. Out of an abundance of caution, we immediately placed our school on a lockdown while law enforcement conducted their investigation.”
The school noted that law enforcement responded to the school to ensure security, with some officers carrying firearms.
“A situation like this with multiple scenes, multiple areas, moving towards other counties, and at the very end of this expecting something very dangerous to occur when we’ve stopped someone that’s done such a blatant act, is really important for us to have that coordination,” Deputy Chief Treven Upkes said.
Deputies with Marion County Sheriff’s Office say the man was then seen traveling eastbound on Highway 22 East, where officials were able to get the vehicle stopped just outside the city limits of Detroit.
“Deputies approached the vehicle and learned the suspect was deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,” police said.
Witnesses say they saw dozens of police cruisers chasing the suspect on Highway 22. At the scene, KOIN 6 reporters saw a white pickup truck surrounded by police cruisers with its tires blown out.
Highway 22 has reopened west of Detroit. Officials also say that “no further details, including information about the victim or the decedent, are being released at this time.”
Police say the shooting may be a case of domestic violence, though this has yet to be confirmed. Oct. 31 happens to be the final day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Upkes said this incident highlights how quickly these issues can turn tragic.
“People who may be in those situations or are struggling to get out of situations that could result in something like this; contact their local law enforcement, reach out to help lines talk to a family member or friend,” he said.
This is a developing story.