Gunfire at the Flying J Truck Stop: Felon dead, cop shot

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A wanted suspect was shot to death and a Woodburn police officer wounded when gunfire erupted at the Flying J Truck Stop in Aurora mid-morning Monday.

Micaiah Clinton of Portland, who was wanted for being a felon in possession of a firearm and for trying to elude police, was shot and killed when he got out of his van around 4 hours after the incident began. Clinton was 27.

Officer Jesse Ponce was shot and seriously wounded. He was rushed to a Portland area hospital for treatment and is expected to recover, authorities said Monday evening. Ponce, 31, has been with Woodburn PD since 2017 and is a member of the Marion County Interagency SWAT team, which responded to the scene.

Police were initially called to the scene around 6:15 a.m. after Clinton had been spotted in the parking lot. He barricaded himself in a van and stayed there for more than 4 hours.

Shortly before 10 a.m., Marion County Sheriff’s Office tweeted SWAT and several other law enforcement agencies arrived to the Flying J truck stop on Ehlen Road.

Officials said Clinton got out of the van around 10:50 a.m. after tear gas was used. When he got out, “multiple shots” were fired. Authorities did not clarify who shot first.

Clinton died at the scene, despite medical aid attempted by law enforcement and medical personnel.

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“WPD is happy to report that Officer Ponce is out of surgery and resting comfortably at the hospital. We wish him a healthy recovery,” Woodburn Police Chief Marty Pilcher said in a statement. “Additionally, we are greatly appreciative of all the assistance we received this morning from EMS and our fellow law enforcement agencies.”

Court documents obtained by KOIN 6 News show Clinton was arrested in 2015 for robbing banks in Salem and Keizer within days of each other. He was convicted in 2016 and sentenced to 3 years in prison and 3 years of supervised release.

However in mid-2021 Clinton violated his supervised release and had a number of court appearances scheduled to deal with his violations.

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