PORTLAND, Ore. – Police were searching a waterfront neighborhood along the Oregon coast Monday for a man suspected of shooting a police officer who pulled him over for speeding.
David Anthony Durham, 43, of Portland, was under investigation in connection with the Sunday night shooting of Lincoln City police Officer Steven Dodds, who remained in critical condition, Newport police Chief Mark Miranda said.
Police previously identified Durham as the registered owner of the 1984 Dodge truck stopped by Dodds and said they wanted to locate him to make sure he was safe and find out if he had any information about the shooting.
Miranda later said the investigation was focused on Durham.
"We're feeling fairly reasonable that he is the suspect," Miranda said in Waldport, where the search was being conducted by 100 police officers, including an Oregon State Police special weapons unit.
"We still feel that he is in the area, and we want to get a hold of him and have a chat," Miranda said.
State police said after the news conference that Durham may be accompanied by his dog, a black and white Blue Heeler Australian cattle dog named Huckleberry weighing about 40 pounds.
A search of Oregon court records showed only minor offenses in Durham's past. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor prostitution charge in Portland in 1999 and had citations for speeding in 2000 and not wearing a helmet on a motorcycle in 1993.
Dodds, who was officer of the year in 2010 in Lincoln City, was shot multiple times shortly after he stopped the truck in Lincoln City, about 40 miles north of Waldport.
Dodds did not return fire but was able to make a distress call, Lincoln City police Lt. Jerry Palmer said. The scene was captured on a patrol car video camera, but few details were being released.
Dodds, 45, a six-year veteran of the department, underwent surgery at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland. More than 100 people turned out Monday night in Lincoln City for a candlelight vigil in support of Dodds.
Palmer called Dodds an outstanding officer who is well-trained and experienced. "Steve is one of those guys you wish you could clone," he said.
The search began after the gunman drove south on U.S. 101 and was spotted and chased by police in Newport, about 14 miles north of Waldport. Several shots were fired at officers, but none was hit.
Two patrol vehicles and a car were struck by bullets, according to Oregon State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings, chief spokesman for the agencies involved in the manhunt.
After the Dodge truck was stopped by spike strips on the highway, the driver ran into a wooded area. He also shot at a crab fisherman on a boat in Alsea Bay, near the scenic Waldport Bridge, Miranda said.
The fisherman was struck by shrapnel but not seriously injured. He was using spotlights to check on his crab pots, and investigators believe the gunman mistook him for a police officer, Miranda said.
About 30 officers took part in the manhunt overnight. Police alerted residents near the bridge through a reverse 911 system and advised them to report anyone suspicious but did not order an evacuation.
Miranda said residents who had left the area were later allowed to return to their homes but were advised to lock their doors.
The police chief noted there were a number of vacant rental houses in the area, so police were going door to door.
"We want to resolve this as best as possible," Miranda said. "We want to take him into custody. We don't want anybody else to get hurt."
A co-worker of Durham's told the Oregonian the man has worked for Willamette Print & Blueprints Co. Inc. for at least five years.
"He hasn't been under a lot of pressure that we know of," Christina Cowan, a downtown manager of the company, told the newspaper. "He's always been a happy-go-lucky guy."
Cowan said Durham didn't show up for work last Friday and didn't call in, adding co-workers checked but failed to locate him.
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