Yamhill police officer fires on fleeing suspect
Bryan Christopher Mitchell, the suspect in Sunday night's officer-involved shooting in which he rammed an Oregon State Police trooper's car from the rear at a high rate of speed, was arraigned Monday afternoon in Yamhill County Circuit Court.
He was charged with one count each of attempted aggravated murder, an unclassified felony; attempted first-degree assault, a Class B felony; attempt to elude a police officer, a Class C felony, in addition to hit-and-run and reckless driving, Class A misdemeanors.
Mitchell, 29, of Yamhill, will be back in court at 1:20 p.m. Thursday, April 11, for a preliminary hearing, at which time he is expected to be arraigned on a grand jury indictment.
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CARLTON — Yamhill police officer Travis Van Cleave fired his service weapon at a suspect during the course of a lengthy Sunday night pursuit that ended west of Carlton at the intersection of Meadow Lake and Old Moores Valley roads.
The Yamhill County Sheriff's Office identified the suspect as Bryan Christopher Mitchell, 29, of 860 E. Third St., Yamhill. He sustained a minor gunshot wound and was transported to the Willamette Valley Medical Center for treatment.
After being released, Mitchell was charged with two counts of attempted third-degree assault, attempt to elude a police officer, hit-and-run and reckless driving. He was lodged in jail on $32,500 bail pending arraignment at 1:20 p.m. today before Judge Ronald Stone in circuit court.
Capt. Tim Svenson of the sheriff's office gave this account:
About 7 p.m., Oregon State Police Trooper Phil Richardson, who patrols out of the McMinnville office and had a civilian rider with him, stopped a Ford F-150 pickup driven by Mitchell north of McMinnville on Highway 47. The trooper had clocked the vehicle going 85 mph in a 55 zone.
After Richardson issued the citation, Mitchell drove off and was visibly angry. At some point, he turned around northbound and passed by the trooper, who was southbound.
Then, as Richardson was continuing southbound and approaching Highway 99W, he saw the suspect's pickup approaching from behind at a high rate of speed. Mitchell rammed the trooper's patrol car from the rear and headed back north.
Following the crash, Richardson attempted to overtake Mitchell's vehicle northbound on Highway 47 toward Carlton, but he lost sight of him.
A short time later, Carlton police located Mitchell's pickup and joined in the pursuit. Several other agencies also joined in as the pursuit headed west out of Carlton on Meadow Lake Road. It continued toward Haskins Creek Road, near the McMinnville Water Treatment Plant, where Mitchell pulled into a large gravel area.
He attempted to ram a sheriff's office patrol car and then sped off east on Meadow Lake Road. Van Cleave fired on the vehicle at that point.
A McMinnville police officer deployed spike strips, finally bring the vehicle to a stop. Michell was tased multiple times and taken into custody.
Van Cleave, by standard protocol, has been placed on paid administrative leave.
Sheriff Jack Crabtree requested the Oregon State Police Major Crimes Section take the lead on the investigation because of the number of county agencies involved in the incident.
After Richardson's vehicle was struck by Mitchell's vehicle, the trooper requested assistance. Trooper Nic Cederberg was in the area, responded and was involved in a minor single-vehicle injury crash in the area of Highway 47 and Gun Club Road. He was transported to the hospital for minor injuries and released.