Suspect on the Run After Fatally Shooting Oregon Police Officer

An Oregon police officer was shot and killed Saturday night after pursuing a suspect through the town of Nyssa.

Malheur County District Attorney Dave Goldthorpe said that Corporal Joe Johnson, 43, responded to “a call of concern regarding a violent individual damaging property and threatening others,” according to the Malheur Enterprise.

When he arrived, he learned that the suspect — identified as 36-year-old Rene Castro — had fled the scene in a vehicle. He immediately launched a pursuit.

Castro stopped his vehicle not far from the home where the call originated.

“Immediately upon making the stop, an armed subject began shooting at Officer Johnson,” Goldthorpe said. “There was no time to return fire before Officer Johnson was fatally hit.”

EMTs and the Malheur County Sheriff’s Department, already en route, arrived quickly on scene, but Johnson was pronounced dead.

Castro is still on the run.

The Enterprise said that Johnson was a reserve officer with the Nyssa Police Department since 2018. His regular job was as a behavioral health specialist at Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario, where he had worked since 2007, beginning as a corrections officer..

“Joe was greatly admired and respected professional and personally,” Joe Woodland, the acting superintendent at Snake River said. said. “Please continue to honor the great person that Joe was. Keep him, his family, co-workers and friends in your caring thoughts at this time.”

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[Featured image: Rene Castro, left, and Joe Johnson/Nyssa Police Department]