I-5 shooter pleads guilty to 15 counts, including attempted murder

State troopers arrested 49-year-old Kenneth Ayers in August following a string of shootings along the Interstate corridor between Douglas, Josephine, and Jackson counties.

Posted: Feb 23, 2021 7:47 PM
Updated: Feb 24, 2021 8:31 AM

MEDFORD, Ore. — The former UPS driver accused of shooting at drivers along I-5 in southern Oregon entered guilty pleas on 15 counts, the Jackson County District Attorney's Office said on Tuesday.

State troopers arrested 49-year-old Kenneth Ayers in August following a string of shootings along the Interstate corridor between Douglas, Josephine, and Jackson counties — one of which injured a woman near Central Point.

A grand jury indicted Ayers on a total of 34 counts in December.

RELATEDOSP: ACCUSED I-5 SHOOTER DROVE SEMI-TRUCK FOR UPS

On Tuesday, Ayers agreed to plead guilty on three counts of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, five counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, two counts of Criminal Mischief in the First Degree, three counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person, and two counts of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree.

Oregon State Police investigated eight separate shootings between Central Point and Roseburg, stretching between May and August of 2020. During the investigation, a number of victims told police that they had been driving near a semi-truck when the shootings happened — some identifying a UPS double or triple trailer.

On Aug. 19, a woman was shot in the shoulder while driving on I-5 northwest of Central Point. Witnesses said that a UPS truck had been getting on the freeway at the same time.

State troopers later stopped a UPS truck in Douglas County, identifying the driver as Ayers. He was employed as a UPS truck driver at the time of the shootings.

Before May 2020, Ayers drove a route for UPS that took him north of Roseburg, investigators said. He was put onto a route south of Roseburg around the same time that the first known shooting occurred.

Though the shootings took place in three separate counties, Ayers agreed to have all of the charges tried in Jackson County. His plea on Tuesday included charges stemming from Jackson, Josephine, and Douglas counties.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for March 2 at 11 a.m.

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