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Local pastor cited for trying to stop thief with gun

According to court documents, Crossfire Ministries pastor, Aaron Taylor, confronted 44-year-old Ramiro Mata in the Lowe's parking lot on West 11th Avenue.

Posted: Jul 27, 2020 11:49 PM
Updated: Jul 28, 2020 12:40 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A local pastor has been cited for firing his gun in an attempt to stop a thief at Lowe's on July 7.

According to court documents, Crossfire Ministries pastor, Aaron Taylor, confronted 44-year-old Ramiro Mata in the Lowe's parking lot on West 11th Avenue.

Police said in documents that Mata stole $1,385 in merchandise from the store including a power washer and an air conditioning unit. Taylor confirmed with an employee chasing Mata that he was shoplifting.

Taylor grabbed onto Mata and tried to keep him from leaving, but Mata broke free. He hopped into a van, and Taylor shot one round at one of the car's wheels. When police arrived, they cited him for reckless endangerment.

According to the documents, Taylor regretted firing his weapon at the getaway car, but he told police he was tired of people stealing and getting away with it.

Mata was eventually arrested on Interstate 5 near Creswell by Oregon State Police. He was charged with first-degree theft. Mata is no stranger to the law. He has multiple charges of theft dating back to 2013 in numerous counties across Oregon.

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