A 25-year-old man was struck and killed by a motorist on Interstate 84 Sunday night while fleeing gunmen on foot, law enforcement officials reported.
Two suspects have been arrested. An autopsy was scheduled in Portland this morning to determine if the man had been shot before he was struck by the vehicle.
According to Oregon State Police reports, a Salem man was driving his gold 1998 Dodge Voyager eastbound on I-84 at 8:20 p.m. when he noticed lights along the south side of the road. He slowed to about 45 mph and began to change lanes when he noticed "something" in the middle of the eastbound lanes in front of him. He attempted to steer hard away from the object but couldn't avoid hitting it, he told police.
The object turned out to be Jose Ornero Campos, according to OSP reports, which did not list his residence. Umatilla County District Attorney Chris Brauer said this morning that he and Umatilla County Medical Examiner Dr. Joseph Diehl authorized an autopsy in Portland to determine if Campos had been shot before he was hit by the car.
"The autopsy will indicate whether he was shot and if he was shot, how many times," Brauer said.
The driver of the car is not a suspect. He was not injured in the collision, which occurred between milepost 177 and 178.
Brauer said in a press release this morning that the victim was being pursued by gunmen on foot from an area north of I-84 where an altercation involving guns and gunshots began on Gun Club Road near the Umatilla Army Depot.
Brauer said that it is suspected, but not confirmed, that the deceased man had been shot by one or more assailants and was attempting to flee.
Brauer said this morning that authorities arrested a 16-year-old male and an adult male in connection with the incident but that charges have not yet been determined.
Umatilla County Jail reports showed that police arrested Kelly Joe Meyer, 34, of Pendleton, on possible charges of first-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit murder, felon in possession of a firearm and a parole violation. Brauer confirmed this morning that Meyer was one of the suspects.
Brauer said in the release that although details of the incident are still sketchy, the general public is not considered to be at risk as the dispute was apparently focused on the parties involved and not anyone else.
The incident was considered a criminal homicide and is being investigated by the Umatilla County Major Crime Team. Several agencies responded to the incident Sunday, including the Umatilla and Morrow County sheriff's offices, OSP, Boardman Police, Hermiston, Police, Umatilla Police, Stanfield Police, U.S. Army Depot Security, the Oregon Department of Transportation, the Umatilla County Medical Examiner's Office, Brauer and Deputy District Attorney Dean Gushwa.