As of Tuesday, October 31, 2017
GRAND RONDE — Three Polk County Sheriff’s Department officers are on leave and one suspect is dead after an officer-involved shooting in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Oregon State Police is investigating the incident, which occurred on Highway 18 near milepost 23 in Grand Ronde, with help from the Polk County Major Crimes Team.
Baltazar Escaloma-Berez, 17, of Silverton, was killed after an alleged carjacking and leading deputies on a pursuit that started in Salem.
According to OSP, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office was notified of an armed carjacking and robbery that happened at about 4 a.m. on Saturday in the Safeway parking lot at the corner of Silverton Road and Lancaster Drive Northeast.
A black 2015 Toyota Corolla was reported “carjacked” at that location, and the suspect, Escaloma-Berez, was reported to have possessed a weapon, according to reports from OSP.
Polk County Sgt. Kevin Haynes, Deputy Kelly Lorence, and Deputy Mike Stevenson located the vehicle and a pursuit ensued, ending on Highway 18 near milepost 23.
As deputies attempted to take Escaloma-Berez into custody, shots were fired. He died at the scene, according to OSP.
Investigators recovered a weapon from the shooting scene, according to OSP. District Attorney Aaron Felton declined to comment on the type of weapon because of the ongoing investigation.
The highway was closed for six to seven hours Saturday morning, reopening at about 12:45 p.m.
The three officers are on administrative leave while the case is investigated by OSP. The case will be reviewed by a grand jury when the investigation is done, Felton said, which should be in three to four weeks.
OSP was assisted by the Polk County District Attorney’s Office, Polk County Medical Examiner, Yamhill County Sheriff's Office, Independence Police Department, Keizer Police Department and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
This is the third officer-involved shooting Polk County has had since July 2016.