FBI offers $50K reward for fugitive in 2011 shooting that seriously wounded Ore. police officer

David Durham is sought in the shooting of Officer Steven Dodds; Durham slipped an extensive manhunt 12 years ago and has been missing since

Nick Gibson

LINCOLN CITY, Ore. — The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the man who slipped an extensive manhunt after being sought in the shooting and serious wounding of a Lincoln City police officer during a traffic stop 12 years ago.

The FBI also is adding investigators to find David Anthony Durham, 56, accused of attempted aggravated murder in the 2011 shooting of Officer Steven Dodds.

Durham is suspected of shooting Dodds after the officer stopped him for speeding in his 1984 Dodge Ram at the south end of Lincoln City before leading police officers on a chase on U.S. Route 101 to Waldport. Durham shot at pursuing officers much of the way until his SUV was disabled by spike strips and he ran away from the scene, authorities said at the time.

Officers never found another trace of Durham, despite a massive search in the days and weeks that followed. Police set up roadblocks and searched cars and SWAT teams went through more than 100 houses. For weeks, they searched with dogs, on horseback and by boat, scouring beaches, dunes and forest along the coast where he disappeared.

During interviews with Durham’s friends and family, investigators found that Durham had reportedly been selling his personal belongings in the weeks leading up to the shooting and had been telling others he was going to go live on an island in the Caribbean. Officers also found Durham’s passport and they found that he had traveled to Thailand.

Durham’s family urged him to turn himself in a few days after he first went missing.

Durham has been considered a fugitive ever since and faces over 65 charges, including 10 counts of attempted murder, 10 counts of reckless endangerment, nine counts of first-degree attempted assault and three counts of attempted assault on a public safety officer, according to the FBI.

In a statement included in the release, Detective Charles Lane of the Lincoln City Police Department said Durham ended Dodds’ career. Dodds was awarded the Purple Heart from the Oregon Peace Officer Association in 2011.

The FBI previously had offered a reward of $10,000 in the case. Kieran Ramsey, the special agent in charge of the FBI Portland field office, said he hopes the increase will bring the case to a close.

“The fact that David Durham has been a free man for more than a decade after nearly killing a Lincoln City Police officer is unacceptable,” Ramsey said in a statement.

Anyone with information about Durham’s whereabouts is asked to call the nearest FBI field office or the agency’s tipline at 1-800-CALL-FBI. There is also an option to submit a tip online at https://tips.fbi.gov.

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