Ore. Officer Critically Wounded in Shooting

A Lincoln City police officer is in critical condition at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland after a gunman opened fire during a traffic stop.


LINCOLN CITY, Ore. --

A Lincoln City police officer is in critical condition at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland after a gunman opened fire during a traffic stop.

Troopers from the Oregon State Police say the officer was shot along Highway 101 in the southern part of town.

The gunman is believed to have fled on foot just north of Waldport, troopers say. He remained at large as of 8:30 a.m. Monday.

Lincoln City Police Chief Steven Bechard says that the officer stopped a 1984 Dodge SUV for speeding at about 11 p.m. When the officer made contact with the driver, the man shot the officer more than once, investigators say.

The suspect left the scene and drove down Highway 101, police say.

A short time later, Newport police saw the gunman's vehicle and tried to stop the driver, but he took off, prompting a high speed chase, troopers say. During that chase, investigators say, the suspect fired several shots but no officers or bystanders were injured.

Deputies from Lincoln County put down spike strips around 11:32 p.m. near milepost 153 on Highway 101. Troopers say the suspect stopped the vehicle and was seen running on foot west of Highway 101 into a heavily wooded area.

Troopers have not identified the shooter. They released a photo of a man who is the registered owner of the car involved in the traffic stop and ensuing chase. David Durham, 43, is described as white, 6 feet 3 inches tall and 185 pounds.

Investigators say they've been unable to find Durham, who has not been named a suspect. Police say they're releasing his name and photo to the public in order to confirm he is safe and to interview him.

State police say they want to interview David Durham, the owner of the car involved in the chase.

There is a large law enforcement presence near Waldport as the manhunt continues. Officers from OSP the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, the Benton County Sheriff's Office, the Newport Police Department and the Toledo Police Department have all responded.

The officer who was shot was initially taken to North Lincoln Samaritan Hospital, but was then moved by a LifeFlight helicopter to a Portland hospital, troopers say. His name is not being released. Troopers say his next of kin have been notified and they are at the hospital with fellow officers and friends.

Schools in Waldport were closed for the day because of the manhunt.

Highway 101 was closed between the Waldport bridge and Northwest Sandpiper Drive, but it has since reopened.

Police say drivers in the Waldport area shouldn't pick up hitchhikers. Troopers warn the suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone who sees someone suspicious is asked to call 911.

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