SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — One person died after pulling a gun on officers a West Salem Goodwill during a drug investigation Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
Around 1 p.m. the Polk County Inter-Agency Narcotics Team was following up an ongoing investigation on Edgewater Street, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said.
Polk County Sheriff Mark Garton said a man who was wanted for delivering drugs ran into the Goodwill after officers tried to arrest him in the parking lot. Garton said the man pulled a gun on the officers inside the store.
A shot was fired and the man died at the scene.
“Some guy ran in and a few police officers ran after him and it just looked like they tackled him to the floor,” said Alicia Pedroza, who was inside of the Goodwill at the time. “There was a guy standing in the middle of the aisle and he said, ‘You guys get down, you don’t think he has a gun? Come on, hurry, run.'”
Pedroza told KOIN 6 News she heard a gun go off and another customer helped lead her to safety.
“At least one, just loud enough and everyone started panicking so I sort of spaced it all out,” she said. “He goes, ‘Follow me,’ and goes to the exit. He starts hitting it with his shoulder and trying to kick it down and it just wouldn’t open and everyone is crowded — so one more time and it burst open.”
“Our guys did an amazing job. They work hard. I’m happy that they’re going home to their families,” said Lt. Dustin Newman with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. “What I can ask the public is be patient and allow us to work through this investigation.”
The Salem Police Department is handling the fatal shooting investigation.
Pedroza said she’s just glad she got out of the store safely.
“Last thing I was expecting, of course,” she said. “It was just a little scary.”
Neither the name of the deceased nor the officers involved have yet been released.
A spokesperson for Goodwill said the West Salem store will reopen no sooner than Saturday morning to allow for police to continue their investigation.
Employees are able to work at other Salem area Goodwill locations in the meantime.
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