ALBANY, Ore. — A suspected burglar is in the hospital after Albany Police said he shot himself during a stand-off Sunday morning. Part of the Santiam Highway was closed for nearly four hours.
Albany police said it took just one minute for them to arrive on scene after the Ace Buyers burglary alarm sounded around 4:30 a.m. The entire store remained taped off as investigators continued to look into exactly what happened.
“I got here at about 5:30 and I was waiting for my opening cook when I saw cop lights out there and cop lights are bright so I just thought…I assumed that someone got pulled over over there,” said Chantel Salter, a shift leader at the Carl’s Jr. nearby.
Salter was soon informed by police that this wasn’t a routine traffic stop.
Salter said, “Someone had broken into Ace Buyers and when the police showed up on scene, they started firing.”
At that point, Albany Police said they immediately called for backup and set up a perimeter.
“The Fred Meyer’s parking lot was full of police and all the areas around here were blocked off. I had fire trucks and ambulances in the parking lot,” said Salter.
The standoff went on for hours.
“I had an employee call me at 7:30 and say that the roads were blocked off and I had to go around. When I came into the parking lot, I heard them yelling for someone to come out with their hands up,” said Elmer’s general manager Shelly Matteson.
The alleged burglar never came out. So, the cops went in.
Albany Police Department Sgt. Ron Parker said, “SWAT was called out and one male was found inside with what appeared to be a self-inflicted wound.”
The suspect was taken to a Corvallis hospital. Even though no one else was hurt, the whole ordeal left the community a bit shaken up.
“It was a little nerve-wracking I think. I was glad when it was over,” said Matteson.
Salter said, “It’s kind of unreal honestly. I live right down the street and this never happens here.”
Those working nearby said although concerns were heavy on their minds, they felt comfort in the quick and thorough response from more than a dozen officers.