Officials on Saturday identified the suspect shot by police Thursday night in Madras as Christopher James Thomas Sweeney, 18, of Sunriver.
Sweeney was identified as the occupant of an allegedly stolen 2014 Chevrolet Venture minivan that various police agencies chased Thursday night from Lava Butte south of Bend to Madras, where the vehicle lost control and stopped at L Street and U.S. Highway 97, according to a release from Oregon State Police on Saturday.
According to the release, Sweeney got out of the minivan after it stopped and, armed with a semi-automatic pistol, confronted police officers. An Oregon State Police sergeant and a Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy fired at Sweeney, who was then airlifted to St. Charles Bend. His condition is unknown, according to police.
The officers involved in the shooting were placed on paid administrative leave until an investigation into the shooting is complete, according to the release.
Police say the incident began near Lava Butte on Highway 97 when Deschutes County Sheriff’s deputies noticed two vehicles reported as stolen headed north on the highway. One was the Chevrolet Venture. The other was a 2007 Toyota Highlander.
Both vehicles headed onto the Bend Parkway, where Deschutes sheriff’s deputies and Bend police attempted to stop them, according to the release. The Toyota Highlander stopped on the parkway near Robal Road and its occupant, Corey Joseph Gallagher, 19, of Portland, was arrested without incident during what police called a “high risk” stop.
Gallagher was lodged at the Deschutes County jail on charges of criminal conspiracy, first-degree theft and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, according to the release. He had an initial court appearance Friday in Deschutes County Circuit Court on a charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and was no longer listed as a Deschutes County jail inmate on Sunday.
Despite multiple police attempting to stop the other vehicle, the Chevrolet Venture continued north on Highway 97, pursued by Oregon State Police and Deschutes County Sheriff’s deputies, according to the release from OSP. Police said several spike strips were successfully deployed. Deschutes County deputies broke off the pursuit before they reached Jefferson County, where Jefferson County deputies joined the chase. The minivan continued into Madras, where it lost control and stopped.
After the shooting, Sweeney’s firearm was found at the scene, according to OSP.