By Steven DuBois Associated Press
PORTLAND, Ore. — A sheriff’s deputy shot by a suspect at a Christmas tree farm in Marion County treated his own wound before help arrived, authorities said Saturday.
Deputy Jim Buchholz, a nine-year veteran, took cover and used a medical kit as other officers responded. He was then taken by a LifeFlight helicopter to a Portland hospital, where he was in fair condition. Investigators declined to say if the deputy was struck by more than one bullet or what part of his body was hit.
“I’m very proud of Deputy Buchholz’s actions in this very dangerous situation,” Sheriff Jason Myers said. “Deputy Buchholz demonstrated quick thinking and heroic actions, which saved his life and the lives of other responding law enforcement officers.”
The gunfire erupted Friday afternoon during the search for a man who had been driving a stolen vehicle. After a police chase, he eluded authorities for hours and then exchanged shots with Buchholz after the deputy found him. Another responding officer also fired at the man, whose name was not released and who’s expected to survive gunshot wounds.
An outside agency — the Salem Police Department — is investigating the incident that stretched across an entire workday on a freezing day in the Willamette Valley.
It started at 9 a.m., when Silverton police began pursuing a stolen vehicle. The chase continued outside city limits as the driver traveled south into a rural portion of Marion County. Silverton police asked the sheriff’s office for help but lost track of the vehicle before deputies arrived.
Deputies found the vehicle abandoned in a field and were told by witnesses that a man with multiple guns had been seen on foot, sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Baldridge said.
Deputies spent hours searching for the man. Buchholz eventually found him, tried to arrest him and was shot, Baldridge said.
Officers from multiple agencies rushed to the farm around 4 p.m., and the gunman was taken into custody after being wounded by additional gunfire.
Salem police said at least two law enforcement officers fired at the suspect — Buchholz and Officer Jason Bricker of the Silverton Police Department.
The number of rounds they fired was not released Saturday afternoon. Bricker was placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure when an officer has been involved in a shooting.