Steve August 22, 2020
oregon-ups-driver-arrested-in-string-of-interstate-shootings;-1-was-hurt

A UPS driver was arrested in connection with the shooting of driver on an Oregon interstate Wednesday, and he is suspected in six other shootings along the highway that occurred since late May, state police said Friday.

Kenneth Ayers, 49, of Roseburg, was arrested at around 11 p.m. Thursday, and he has been booked on attempted murder and other charges, according to Oregon State Police. The shootings on Interstate 5 that Ayers is suspected of carrying out began on May 12.

A woman was shot Wednesday night on the interstate in Jackson County as she drove northbound, and she was treated and released, police said. There were no injuries in the other shootings.

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No motive has been confirmed, police said.

It was not immediately clear if Ayers had an attorney who could speak on his behalf. He was being held in lieu of $1 million bail Friday night, according to online jail records. Attempts to find any relatives and reach them by phone were unsuccessful Friday night.

State police said they learned a UPS truck may have been involved in the shootings, and after the woman was shot Wednesday police found the UPS tractor-trailer around 60 miles north of the scene.

That truck was seized, and police said in a statement that “the search of the truck revealed a firearm consistent with the type used.”

State police would not specify the type of gun used. Police said UPS cooperated with the investigation from the beginning of the probe.

UPS did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment Friday night. The shipping company said in a statement to NBC affiliate KOBI of Medford that, “We are appalled to hear about these allegations and are fully cooperating with the responding authorities.”

“Firearms are prohibited at UPS facilities and in our vehicles, and we are extremely concerned for the other motorists and individuals affected,” the UPS statement to the station said.

The shootings Ayers is suspected of carrying out happened in Josephine, Jackson and Douglas counties, which stretch from the California border to south of Eugene.

Image: Phil helselPhil Helsel

Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.

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