Witness shoots at fleeing driver’s tires after I-5 hit-and-run

PORTLAND, Ore. — A witness fired several shots at the tires of a pickup truck leaving a crash scene near the Fremont Bridge Sunday evening, police said.

Police were called just after 6 p.m. to the report of a crash and gunfire on Interstate 5 northbound at the south end of the bridge.

Witnesses told officers at the scene that the driver of a pickup crashed into a barrier and hit several cars, according to Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Chris Burley.

“The guy after wrecking his car tries to take off, but he had a couple of flat tires so his car isn’t moving very fast and he backs into a couple of cars,” said Juha Tuominen, who witnessed the incident and recorded video of it with his phone.

As that driver left the scene, someone fired multiple rounds at the tires of the pickup. Watch the video (courtesy: Juha Tuominen)

“We weren’t sure if it was a gun or light, and then we heard shots and saw lights coming out of the gun,” said Tuominen. “We were like ‘wow, this is insane, happening right in front of us’.”

Police caught up with the driver of the pickup near the northbound I-5 Alberta Street exit. Travis S. Taylor was taken into custody for DUII and lodged in the Multnomah County Jail.

Officers found and interviewed the person who shot at the pickup and have seized the firearm involved.

“We just ask people: If you are involved in a crime or are a witness to a crime, be a good witness and just use caution,” Burley said. “Fortunately last night no one was injured, but anytime a gun is fired it escalates a situation so that other community members could be harmed.”

A grand jury will review the shooting to decide if any charges will be brought against the citizen who fired the shots. Police say the citizen did have a concealed carry permit for the gun.

“It just happened so quick, almost like a movie. Hard to believe,” said Tuominen.

There were no reports of injuries as a result of the gunfire or crash.

“The Portland Police Bureau has a policy where, except in extreme circumstances, we never shoot at a moving vehicle, and that is for many reasons,” Burley said. “It’s extremely dangerous to the community members and the suspect who’s fleeing.”

Anyone with information about this incident should call PPB at 503-823-3333.

Just hours later, in the St. Johns area, a witness to a very different crime also took things into their own hands, police say. That person grabbed a gun and shot a man who witnesses said was beating up a woman. The suspect was shot in the leg outside the Bristol Court Apartments on North Bristol Avenue and was taken to the hospital. The case will also be sent a grand jury to decide if that shooting was lawful.

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