Molalla officers shot at, man taken into custody

Crime

One person injured by shrapnel

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man shot a rifle and sidearm at police officers from a house in the 700 block of West Main Street in Molalla Monday, forcing an evacuation and lockdowns from a nearby grocery store and two schools, the Molalla Police Department said.

Clackamas County District Attorney John Wentworth confirmed to KOIN 6 News the suspected shooter is 48-year-old Brian Scott Mills.

Brian Scott Mills in an undated Oregon driver’s license photo. He is accused of shooting at Molalla police, October 4, 2021

The incident started when officers responded to a medical call Monday, Chief Frank Schoenfeld said during a press conference. When police arrived, a man put on body armor and opened fire from inside his house on the responding officers.

Police said there were about 50 people in the area when the man fired his weapons.

“They were in directly in the line of fire, the construction area, the shopping center. We evacuated and locked those areas down,” the chief said.

Molalla Police Chief Frank Schoenfeld, October 4, 2021 (KOIN)

Three cars were struck by bullets, he said, including two pick-up trucks and a police patrol car. Police spent about 40 minutes convincing the man to surrender, ultimately arresting him safely.

Authorities said one person was injured by shrapnel and one officer fired their weapon. The suspect was not harmed, Schoenfeld said.

The suspect “fired from the house, from a window, adjacent to the door. Small and long rifle calibers,” Schoenfeld said. “Officers were not hit, thank goodness. Subject was taken into custody without incident.”

Police have not released the identity of the shooter or the officer who fired their weapon. The exact circumstances leading up to the shooting have not yet been released either. The Oregon State Police is currently leading an investigation.

The officer was placed on administrative leave, standard protocol in these situations.

Witnesses report chaotic scene

Doug McEwing was working near Fred’s convenience store when the panic began.

“I saw a man jumped out of his truck with blood on his neck. He ran into the store and there was chaos,” McEwing told KOIN 6 News. “I heard I thought it was a car backfire. It was so loud. And then I heard a few more pops. So I ran into the store.”

That’s when McEwing realized there was a shooting nearby and the man thought he had been shot.

“He narrowly, I mean, so close to being, like, seriously injured,” McEwing said.

He sought medical attention to help with the man’s shrapnel wound, police worked on taking the suspected shooter into custody.

“There was just the most police and first responders I’ve ever seen in my life,” he said. “It was like every, every car passing police.”

McEwing said it was amazing that, despite the utter chaos, there were no fatalities or life-threatening injuries.

Resident Ashley Ramirez told KOIN 6 News shootings in Molalla are uncommon. She came home from school and saw “a lot of sheriffs on the street, a lot of cops and I got scared.”

Meanwhile, the Molalla River Middle School and Molalla Elementary School were placed in lockdown around 10:50 a.m. amid the “significant police activity in the neighborhood south of the schools,” according to a statement from the Molalla River School District.

The schools returned to normal operations just after noon on Monday.

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