Ore. officer fatally shot; suspect at large

Nyssa officer Joseph Johnson, 43, died after a man he had pursued in a car shot at him

Duty Death: Joseph Johnson - [Nyssa, Oregon]

End of Service: 04/15/2023

By Austin De Dios

NYSSA, Ore. — A police officer was shot and killed Saturday evening in the eastern Oregon city of Nyssa, and police are still searching Sunday for the suspect.

Officer Joseph Johnson, 43, died after responding to reports of a violent person damaging property and threatening people, the Malheur County District Attorney’s office wrote in a statement Sunday.

Johnson responded to the call around 8:20 p.m., and heard that the suspect had left in a car. Johnson pursued the man, and eventually both cars stopped at the corner of Locust Avenue and North 3rd Street.

As soon as Johnson stopped, the man, identified as 36-year-old Nyssa resident Rene Castro, started shooting at him, the statement from the DA’s office said. The shooter then fled the scene.

Emergency medical workers and the Malheur sheriff’s office responded, but Johnson was dead when they arrived, the DA’s office said.

Oregon State Police troopers are leading the investigation.

“The appreciation, love, and concern of all citizens of Malheur County go out to the family of Officer Johnson,” the DA’s office said in a statement. “The Fallen Badge Foundation is accepting donations on behalf of the family.”

Nyssa has a population of just under 3,200 people, according to census data. It is about 51 miles from Boise, Idaho.

Investigators ask anyone with information on the location of Castro to call Malheur County Dispatch at 541-473-5125.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service


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