UPDATE: Police identify subject in early morning shooting, fire

Police said the shooter was a 65-year-old man from the neighborhood. He shot and killed himself in a yard as SWAT operators closed in.

Posted: Oct 17, 2018 4:50 AM
Updated: Oct 18, 2018 9:36 AM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- The man who shot and killed himself Wednesday morning after a fire destroyed several homes in Springfield was 65-year-old Lance Taylor Jacobs, police said.

Lt. Scott McKee with Springfield police said at this time they believe Jacobs intentionally set his own house on fire and was out to kill first responders, but at this time they don’t know why.

No first responders or other residents were injured.

RELATED: Springfield gunman posted about health, divorce right before ambush

"Our interest is to try to identify what the motivation might have been beyond what is apparent, and in so doing, maybe determine if we can prevent something like from happening again," McKee said.

Eugene Springfield Fire were called to a house fire at 536 Oakdale Avenue at about 3:54 a.m. Officials said when first responders arrived on scene, they came under gunfire from a shooter who was walking through the area with a shotgun.

READ MORE: Police help put out fire after firefighters ambushed in Springfield

Mckee said bullets struck the windshield and front of a fire engine. Fire personnel evacuated and requested police assistance.

“The last thing you’re expecting when you roll in is to come under fire like that,” McKee said.

Springfield police arrived on scene by 4:02 a.m.

A SWAT team and detectives were also called as the suspect continued to fire at responding officers.

MORE: Neighbor reflects on Oakdale chaos during Neighborhood Watch meeting

"We just came out and heard some noises," neighbor Don Chaberlean said. "We came out to see a huge fire, and then the cops came out screaming for everybody to get back in the house because ammo's going off."

Before SWAT arrived, officers found Jacobs dead in a nearby yard.

Fire personnel then fought the house fire but it spread to nearby homes. Four homes caught fire: a duplex (536 and 542 Oakdale Ave.) and two single-family residences (518 and 530 Oakdale Ave.).

McKee said an incident like this brings police and firefighters closer.

“If there is a bright side to something like this, it’s that we learn,” McKee said. “We share a lot of the same territory. We certainly breathe the same air out in something like this, and we do what we can – try to grow closer together and work more together on stuff.”

At 6 a.m. the fires were under control, but the neighborhood streets were closed as part of a larger crime scene.

The Eugene Police Department and Lane County Sheriff's Office assisted.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at 541-726-3721.

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