SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — The investigation into the officer-involved shooting death of a man inside a Salem Goodwill store continues Thursday after authorities said the suspect pulled a gun on them as they tried to take him into custody.
Goodwill store officials said the West Salem location won’t open until at least Saturday, and current employees were loaned to other stores in order to keep getting paid. They’re also offering counseling to their employees.
Goodwill spokesperson Dale Emanuel said there were more than 30 employees and at least as many customers at the store when the shooting happened. She said most of the employees were in the back and didn’t see what happened.
“This is a lot of trauma on the community of West Salem and our employees and our shoppers,” said Emanuel. “We are grateful nobody was hurt and we know this is a heavy burden on our police officers as well and we just hope to get through this the best we can.”
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said their Inter-Agency Narcotics Team was following up an ongoing investigation on Edgewater Street around 1 p.m. when the shooting happened.
The man — whose name has not yet been released — was suspected of delivering drugs. Officials said he ran into the store when deputies tried to arrest him in the parking lot. Polk County Sheriff Mark Garton said the man pulled a gun on the officers inside the store.
A shot was fired and the man died at the scene.
At this time, it is unclear how many shots were fired or how many law enforcement officers were involved.
“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.
No one else was hurt in the incident.