Springfield, Ore. – On Sunday morning, Jan. 2nd, 2022, around 06:45 am Springfield Dispatchers received numerous calls from citizens reporting sounds of possible shots being fired in the downtown area. Officers arrived and quickly determined they were coming from the bike path near S B St. as they witnessed commercial grade mortar type fireworks exploding. As Officers began approaching the subject, he turned the fireworks towards the Officers.
Officers began to communicate to avoid a more dangerous situation, but the subject began lighting fireworks and shooting them toward Officers and patrol cars. He transitioned to lighting them by hand and lobbing them at individual Officers and under a patrol car. Officers were struck by portions of the exploding fireworks and the concussion of the explosions impacted their hearing. The subject made statements that he wanted the Officers to shoot him and took steps to try to force the officers to do so. Officers continued to try to communicate with him and utilized less lethal tools in a further attempt to safely take him into custody. Although the less lethal deployment was not immediately effective, it provided an opportunity for Officers to reposition to a more advantageous location.
The subject turned towards an Officer and began frantically trying to ignite what appeared to be a vintage device designed to ignite explosive blasting caps. Officers were able to create distance and after several additional attempts to detonate the device, he threw it in the direction of the Officers, without igniting it, and he was then safely taken into custody.
Officers cordoned off the area and requested the assistance of the EPD’s Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU). They later indicated the blasting caps were operative, and had they successfully detonated, it would have been instantly lethal to the suspect and likely the Officer.
Detectives have taken over the investigation and are currently serving Search Warrants on an address in the Thurston area, and a vehicle in the Mohawk Blvd area. EDU will assist in evaluating the residence prior to entry to ensure there are not any rigged devices.
The custodies name is being withheld pending service of the Search Warrants.
“The professionalism displayed by the responding SPD members is directly responsible for the positive outcome of this event. They utilized a variety of resources and tactics to safely end this very dangerous and potentially deadly encounter. SPD Officers work through challenging situations that require critical decision making on a frequent basis. The actions of the Officers today exemplify the dedication to resolving incidents that put community members and Officers at risk in a manner that places the highest value on the sanctity of life of all involved.” Chief Andrew Shearer.
ARRESTED: Darrell Long 56 year old of Springfield
PENDING CHARGES: Attempted Assault 2 x 5
Unlawful Use of a Weapon
Unlawful Possession of a Destructive Device
Assault on a Police Officer
Felon in Possession of a Firearm
Search Warrants were served yesterday, 01/02/2022, afternoon at an apartment at 160 54th St, and on a vehicle parked on Modoc St. A firearm was located in the apartment, but no additional explosives were found. Long is in Police custody, but being treated at a local Hospital for an pre-existing unrelated medical condition. He will be lodged at the Lane County Jail as soon as he is medically cleared.
(information directly from SPD)