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News Releases
Traffic safety through vouchers instead of citations is focus of program set to start in Salem - 06/28/22

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: June 28, 2022

Salem, Ore. — The Salem Police Department is now participating in the Oregon Car Care Program, a project that focuses on improving traffic safety by helping drivers correct minor equipment violations with a discount voucher.

Effective today, officers will issue vouchers for infractions related to equipment which by law is required to function properly on a vehicle, such as lighting, rearview mirrors, windshield wipers, and fenders or mudguards. The vouchers, redeemable at various stores in the area, provide a 20% discount to the vehicle owner, making it easier for them to get the necessary equipment to drive safely. 

“With the Car Care program, we have an opportunity to address equipment violations through education and cooperation, rather than a citation,” said Salem Police Chief Trevor Womack. 

Improved traffic safety is highlighted in the Salem Police Department’s three-year strategic plan which includes developing efforts to direct traffic enforcement toward serious moving violations that result in collisions and away from mere equipment violations.

The Car Care Program was developed by the Oregon State Police in 2016 with the focus of assisting drivers who defer automobile maintenance costs. In 2019, the program was centralized through the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police as a way to extend the benefits to agencies throughout the state.

“For us, the program also offers another critical component to our community’s safety and that’s relationship-building and trust,” explained the police chief. “By expanding the approach to interactions with the public, officers also have a chance to offer some understanding to drivers who find themselves having to put off car upkeep, while also reminding drivers about the importance of traffic safety.”

Womack noted, “Having a conversation without a citation can go a long way to increased understanding, as well as building trust with the community.”

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Late night shots fired call leads to arrest - 06/21/22

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: June 21, 2022

Salem, Ore. — Salem Police detectives have arrested one individual in an incident of gun violence which occurred on June 16, 2022. 

It was just after 11 p.m. when a neighbor reported gunfire at their residence on the 200 block of Kashmir CT SE. Several shots were fired with multiple rounds striking the exterior and interior of the home. Although no one was injured in the incident, one round was located in a bedroom where a child was sleeping. 

Detectives determined a disagreement had occurred between a person who lives in the home and 18-year-old Matthew Lincoln Gauntt. A few hours after the shooting incident, patrol officers sited Gauntt who was in the company of a male juvenile at the time. Although both initially fled on foot as officers approached, Gauntt was arrested without further incident.

Gauntt was lodged at the Marion County Jail on attempted murder and other related charges. He is due to be arraigned today, June 21, and as such, all inquiries concerning this case should be directed to the Marion County District Attorney’s Office.

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Burglary investigation leads to discovery of other stolen property and identity theft - 06/17/22

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: June 16, 2022

 

Burglary investigation leads to discovery of other stolen property and identity theft

Salem, Ore. — Detectives from the Salem Police Department Felony Crimes Unit served a search warrant on June 16, 2022, at a residence in the 100 block of Columbia ST NE, leading to the arrest of 26-year-old Logan Peterson for possession of a stolen vehicle, and other charges related to identity theft and forgery.

The investigation began when officers learned the Columbia ST address was the location of an all‑terrain vehicle taken in a burglary on June 12. A search warrant served at the home led to the discovery of stolen appliances and evidence of the production of fake identifications and records. Many other pieces of identity and financial documentation belonging to individuals other than Peterson were also found.

Peterson is currently lodged at the Marion County Jail and due to be arraigned today, June 17, 2022, at 2:30 p.m. at the Marion County Criminal Court Annex. All inquiries into this case should be directed to the Marion County District Attorney’s Office.

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Detectives arrest suspect sought in two attempted murder cases - UPDATE - 06/14/22

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Update 06/14/2022 | 3:00 p.m.

Additional charges added after Grand Jury indictment

Kenneth Wayne Felton has been charged in a shooting incident in south Salem. Felton is currently in custody at the Marion County Jail and is being held without bail.

Salem Police responded to reports of gunfire on May 18, 2022 in the 5700 block of Woodside DR SE. Patrol officers found a man in a vehicle with a life-threatening gunshot wound. The victim, Kerry Lynn Johnson, age 54, was transported to Salem Health where he currently remains under care.

Felton was indicted on June 10 on several charges, including attempted murder, for his alleged involvement in the May 18 incident above. Felton was also indicted on several unrelated shootings that occurred in Salem between December 2021 and January 2022.

“The work done by the detectives of our Violent Crimes Unit is impressive. Their skills and dedication to apprehend those who threaten the safety of our community is remarkable, and it speaks to our agency’s commitment to address violent crime in our city,” said Salem Police Chief Trevor Womack of the investigations.

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Original press release published 05/23/2022 | 1:00 p.m.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: May 23, 2022

 

Salem, Ore. — Detectives from the Salem Police Department Criminal Investigations Section have arrested a suspect sought in two separate attempted murder investigations. Twenty-five-year-old Kenneth Wayne Felton was arrested without incident on Sunday, May 22, 2022.

Violent Crimes Unit detectives developed investigative leads which pointed to Felton being the suspect in the December 27, 2021 shooting at a northeast Salem apartment complex. In that case, a man was assaulted and then shot as he attempted to flee to safety. 

The investigation into a shooting on December 30, 2021 in a parking lot near the intersection of Pine and Broadway STS NE also led to Felton as the suspect. In the second incident, the victim was standing outside his vehicle when he was approached by two men who asked him for a ride. When he refused, he was shot.

The victim in each case survived their injuries.

Felton is currently lodged at the Marion County Jail and is due to be arraigned today, May 23, at 2:30 p.m. at the Marion County Circuit Court Annex on second-degree attempted murder and other related charges.

All further inquiries on this case should be directed to the Marion County District Attorney’s Office.

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Officers investigate shots fired incident downtown - UPDATE #2 - CORRECTION - 06/13/22

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Update 06/13/2022 | 10:20 p.m.

CORRECTION: The original press release and subsequent update at 10:10 p.m. listed the location of the shooting at the Cherriots Transit Mall. However, the argument between the individuals occurred at the transit mall, while the shooting took place in a parking lot on the west side of Columbia Bank at 550 Center ST NE.

Our apologies for the error.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Update 06/13/2022 | 10:10 p.m.

Salem Police detectives have arrested two male juveniles in today's shooting incident at the Cherriots Transit Mall. 

Detectives determined that the violence ensued as part of an argument between several individuals at the transit mall.

The first male suspect, age 16, has been arrested on various charges including attempted murder and unlawful use of a weapon.

A second male suspect, age 14, who brandished a knife during the dispute, has also been arrested for menacing and unlawful use of a weapon.

Both juvenile suspects have been lodged at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center. Due to their age, the names of the suspects will not be released.

The 20-year-old male victim remains hospitalized, and his current health status is unknown.

All further inquiries on this case should be directed to the Marion County District Attorney's Office.

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Original press release published 06/13/2022 | 5:55 p.m.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: June 13, 2022

Salem, Ore. — At approximately 2:45 p.m., patrol officers responded to the Cherriots Transit Mall at 220 High ST NE on the report of a person with a gunshot wound.

Officers located one person who was wounded by gunfire and called for emergency medical aid. Witnesses in the area were able to immediately provide descriptions to officers which resulted in their locating and detaining several subjects. 

The injured person was transported to Salem Health with a life-threatening injury, and their condition is unknown at this time.

The immediate streets surrounding the transit mall and adjacent blocks were cordoned off for approximately two hours as officers worked to secure and process the scene for investigative leads. Detectives from the Violent Crimes Unit responded and have assumed this active investigation. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Salem Police Tips Line at 503-588-8477. 

All streets were reopened to through traffic just before 5:30 p.m.

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