Authorities on Friday began pulling out of a coastal Oregon town where they spent the week searching for a camouflage-dressed man who they say shot a police officer, hoping the suspect will come out from hiding if there are fewer police.
WALDPORT — Authorities on Friday began pulling out of a coastal Oregon town where they spent the week searching for a camouflage-dressed man who they say shot a police officer, hoping the suspect will come out from hiding if there are fewer police.
One SWAT team stayed in case David Anthony Durham, 43, was still hiding among the vacation homes in a sleepy neighborhood in Waldport, about 147 miles southwest of Portland. Three other teams left the scene.
"Either Mr. Durham is long gone and we are in a way wasting resources with all the SWAT teams down there, or he is hunkered down in a house somewhere waiting for us to leave," Newport Police Chief Mark Miranda told OPB Radio's Think Out Loud.
"If he sees we are leaving and don't have that much presence any more, he'll surface," Miranda said.
Police had been hunting for Durham since Sunday night, when an officer from Lincoln City was shot during a traffic stop. Police chased Durham's vehicle down U.S. 101, and forced it to stop in Waldport with a spike strip. The driver fled on foot.
Family members describe Durham, of Portland, as an avid outdoorsman who designs his own camouflage clothing and that he had become delusional after taking pain medication for an injured shoulder.
Miranda said they would not use Durham's dog, Huckleberry to try to find him. The dog was with him at the time of the shooting and was later found.
"This is a large territory," he said. "If Mr. Durham is hunkered down in a house, the dog probably would not be able to detect him."
Miranda said Coast Guard helicopters are still flying the area at the mouth of Alsea Bay. They have not found any signs that Durham swam across the frigid waters to escape the peninsula where authorities say he fired on a crab fisherman on Monday.
"He is still considered armed and dangerous, very dangerous," Lincoln County Sheriff's Lt. Curtis Landers said.
Officer Steven Dodds remained in a Portland hospital recovering from gunshot wounds to his pelvis and abdomen. Doctors say he would have died from the injuries if he hadn't managed to call in the shooting to dispatchers, then been rushed to the hospital for surgery.
A warrant charges Durham with attempted aggravated murder.