Astoria suspect had rifle, silencer
Police withhold name of man from Washougal
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) -- A man wounded by gunfire at a motel and stopped after a high-speed chase had weaponry that included a homemade silencer and an assault rifle, and he used at least two phony names, authorities say.
Authorities backed away from their description of a shootout Sunday, saying they haven’t turned up evidence that the man fired a gun at officers. He suffered arm and shoulder wounds at the shooting at the Lamplighter Motel and was arrested after a 25-mile chase along the Oregon Coast.
Police and the county prosecutor say they believe they have identified the man, whom they described as a Washougal man about 40 years old, the Daily Astorian reported. They refused to release his name on Wednesday or say what he was doing in Astoria.
They said he had used one name to rent a vehicle and another to rent a motel room then gave authorities a third alias. Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis said his real name would be made public when he is released from the hospital and charged, which could be Friday.
“His condition has been described as stable,” Marquis said.
Police say they found a bloody handgun on the console of the man’s rented Chrysler minivan. Marquis said police found “military-style ammunition” and a homemade silencer.
After the shooting, Marquis said the man opened fire and officers shot back. He has since said the investigation hasn’t turned up evidence the man fired.
“There is no reason, even with this new information, to believe that this was other than what we call a good shooting, a justified shooting,” Marquis said. “The police do not have to wait to be shot at to justify the use of deadly physical force.”
The police went to the motel to investigate a report of a silencer and ammunition in the man’s room. Marquis said they also found materials that “were a little bit disconcerting,” but declined to elaborate.
Officers said the man refused them entry, gunfire erupted and he escaped. Officers used spike strips and a law enforcement vehicle to end the chase.