Salem Police Dept.
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News Releases
Early morning single vehicle fatality in southeast Salem - 12/05/21


DATE:     Sunday, December 5, 2021

Salem, Ore. — Patrol officers responded to a single vehicle crash at approximately 6:00 a.m. today, Sunday, December 5, 2021, in the 5700 block of Gaffin RD SE.

The preliminary investigation suggests the driver of a mid-size SUV was traveling eastbound on Gaffin RD and could not negotiate a slight bend in that portion of the road. Ultimately, the vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree.

The driver, Salomon Leyva-Ramirez, age 23, and sole occupant, was pronounced deceased at the scene by fire personnel.

The Salem Police Traffic Team is completing the investigation. 

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Police make arrest after death investigation in northeast Salem - 12/03/21


DATE:      Friday, December 3, 2021

Salem, Ore. — On Thursday, December 2, 2021, at approximately 10:05 a.m., Salem Police officers responded to a suspicious activity report at a northeast Salem apartment complex. A resident of the Claxter Court Apartments reported seeing an unknown individual remove a large suitcase from another apartment. The individual placed the suitcase into the trunk of a vehicle parked in the complex parking lot. The witness further stated the resident of that apartment, identified as Richard Eugene Flennory, age 59, had not been seen for the last several days. 

When officers arrived, they located the vehicle belonging to Flennory inside the complex.  Upon opening the trunk, a suitcase containing a body was found. Members of the Salem Police Department Violent Crimes Unit responded to investigate the death. Detectives were later able to positively identify the body as Flennory. 

During the investigation, two individuals were found living inside Flennory’s apartment. One occupant, Linson Lavell Johnson, 51, was taken into custody on an outstanding parole violation warrant. Through the investigation, detectives learned that Flennory had multiple health issues which may have contributed to his death. When Johnson discovered Flennory deceased, he placed Flennory inside the suitcase and into the trunk of the vehicle to avoid a police response.

An autopsy performed by the state medical examiner’s office determined there was no indication of foul play. 

Johnson is being charged with abuse of a corpse in the second degree and parole violation. He is currently in custody at the Linn County Jail on the parole violation warrant.

All further inquiries can be directed to the Marion County District Attorney’s Office and the Oregon State Medical Examiner Division

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Salem Police investigate serious injury collision - 12/02/21


DATE:      Thursday, December 2, 2021

Salem, Ore. — On Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at approximately 3:56 p.m., Salem Police responded to a serious injury collision near the intersection of Kuebler BV and 36th AV SE involving six vehicles. Due to the serious nature of the incident, the Salem Police Department Traffic Team responded to conduct a crash reconstruction and investigation.

Witnesses reported the driver of a one-ton truck pulling a loaded dump-trailer was traveling east on Kuebler BV near 36th AV, when it struck a Kia Soul also moving eastbound on Kuebler which was stopped in heavy traffic. The force of the collision caused the Kia to be pushed forward into a Dodge Ram truck. Two additional vehicles ahead of the truck were struck in the chain reaction crash.

Several involved drivers reported minor injuries but did not require a transport to the hospital. A six-year-old child riding in the rear passenger seat of the Kia Soul was transported by ambulance to Salem Health with life-threatening injuries. The child was later transported by Life Flight helicopter to a Portland-area hospital for further treatment.

All drivers remained on-scene and are cooperating with the investigation and no arrests or citations have been issued at this time. As this is an active investigation, no further information on the crash is available at this time.

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Fire leads to death investigation * update * - 11/22/21


DATE:     Monday, November 22, 2021

Press release update:

The Salem Police Department investigation into the residential fire is complete, and detectives have determined no foul play or criminal act was involved in the incident. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The two deceased individuals inside the residence are identified as Aaron Richard Harris, age 33, and Taylor Alyssa Wallace, age 25. Harris and Wallace were living at the location when the fire occurred. 

All inquiries related to the cause of the fire and manner of death should be made to the Salem Fire Department and the Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office, respectively.

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Original press release published Friday, November 19, 2021:

Salem, Ore. — On Friday, November 19, 2021, at approximately 7:55 a.m., a fire was reported in the 1100 block of 8th ST NW. Witnesses reported smoke coming from a single-story home. The Salem Fire Department response was led by a battalion chief with four fire engines, one ladder truck, and a medic unit. Salem Police officers assisted with traffic control.

A small fire discovered inside the home was contained and extinguished quickly. During the subsequent fire investigation two persons were located inside the home and pronounced deceased at the scene. Three dogs were also found, one inside and two outside the home. The dog inside perished, and the two that survived and are being cared for by neighbors.

No additional information will be released at this time as both the Salem Police and Fire Departments are investigating the incident.

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Officers investigate report of armed person on school campus - 11/17/21


DATE:      Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Salem, Ore. — At approximately 11:30 a.m. today, November 17, 2021, multiple Salem Police officers responded to the McKay High School campus on the report of an armed person. Officers determined no weapon was ever seen. They were, however, able to identify several students involved and interviewed them regarding the incident. No weapons were found. No arrests were made. The students were released to school administrators.

Contrary to postings on social media, no shots were fired on or near the campus.

We understand when schools’ initiate lockdowns due to potentially unsafe circumstances, it can be disconcerting for students, families, staff, and the overall community. We take all reports of threats on a school campus seriously and respond with the appropriate resources to ensure the safety of students, school staff, and the community.

Please remember, it is essential to report any information about a safety threat or potential act of violence at a school to police or school administration.

Tips can also be submitted through Safe Oregon, a program created to report potential threats on school campuses. Safe Oregon accepts tips through their online reporting system, by phone or text to 844-472-3367, or via e-mail at

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Student with gun arrested at local middle school - 11/15/21


DATE:     Monday, November 15, 2021

Salem, Ore. — On Monday, November 15, 2021 at approximately 10:40 a.m., Salem Police officers responded to Stephens Middle School on the report by staff of a student with a handgun hidden in a backpack. The student was detained by staff without incident prior to police arrival. 

Officers took possession of the firearm and transported the student to the Marion County Juvenile Detention Facility on the following charges:

  • Menacing, two counts
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm
  • Possession of a firearm in a public building

No further information will be released at this time as this is an ongoing investigation.

We encourage anyone with information about a safety threat or potential act of violence at a school to call police or contact school administration. Tips can also be submitted through Safe Oregon, a program created to report potential threats on school campuses. Safe Oregon accepts tips through their online reporting system, by phone at 1-844-472-3367, or via e-mail at

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