The St. Helens Police Department (SHPD) has confirmed the shooting suspect from the incident at the St. Helens Chevron early Wednesday morning is deceased, and the incident led to the deadly use of force by police.
The deceased suspect has now been identified as Michael Thomas Veatch, 32, of Washington.
SHPD officers responded to a report of a shooting at approximately 5:26 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the St. Helens Chevron located at 115 N. Columbia River Highway. According to the Oregon State Police (OSP), the officers located the vehicle suspected of being involved in the shooting incident, and when they attempted to contact the driver, it fled down Highway 30 towards Deer Island.
Officers pursued until the suspect’s vehicle became disabled near milepost 35, where the suspect attempted to flee on foot. It was then the SHPD officer used deadly force, resulting in the suspect’s death.
As is policy, the SHPD officer involved in the fatality has been placed on administrative leave.
The suspect was confirmed deceased at the scene and the ensuing investigation caused the prolonged closure of a portion of Highway 30 between milepost 35 and 36 for approximately a mile around the area. It remained closed until around 6 p.m.
OSP said detectives are investigating the report of shots being fired from the suspect vehicle prior to, and during the pursuit.
“This was a very dynamic situation with several incident scenes, numerous witnesses, and a large volume of evidence,” OSP said via press release. “In an effort to maintain the integrity of the investigation, information is being withheld until OSP can ensure that witnesses have been interviewed, next of kin notification made and outstanding victims identified and questioned.”
OSP is the lead investigating agency and the SHPD said multiple scenes are currently being investigated.
Anyone with any additional information related to the incident is asked to please call the OSP at 503-375-3555 or 1-800-442-0776.
The Chronicle will update this story as new information becomes available.