KLAMATH FALLS — A gunman shot and critically wounded a Klamath County sheriff's deputy on Wednesday during a traffic stop, and police were looking for a suspect in a black Jeep Cherokee.
The deputy, whose name was not released, was hit in the face and taken to Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath Falls then flown to OHSU Hospital in Portland, where he was expected to undergo surgery, officials said.
The Portland hospital specializes in treating head trauma. The gunman fired into the deputy's face and side, District Attorney Rob Patridge said.
Authorities have not said why the deputy stopped the vehicle shortly before noon or how many passengers were inside.
The suspect, described as armed and dangerous, was believed to be driving a black 1989 Jeep Cherokee SUV with the Oregon license plate ZFQ270.
Patridge said investigators were interviewing a number of people and looking for William Jack Parkerson, whose last known address was in Klamath Falls. Patridge declined to say if Parkerson is suspected of being the shooter.
The 30-year-old Parkerson is bald and has the Spanish word "Norte" tattooed on his chest. A tattoo on his abdomen says: "Under no Law/United Nortenos Locos."
Court records show Parkerson has prior arrests for criminal mischief, assault and robbery. He was often listed as a transient.
Barbara Palumbo, who lives in a trailer park near the shooting site, said she did not hear the gunfire and was alerted to the violence by the siren of a police car. She has lived in the neighborhood for 10 years and said there are many drug users.
"It's not unusual for us to see police activity," she said. "It's kind of sad."
The incident sent Mazama High School into lockdown, said Randy Rose, vice principal. Those restrictions were later eased and the few children who were inside the building during summer break went home with parents.
People with information about the shooting were asked to call the Klamath Falls Police Department tip line at 541-883-5334.