Kenneth Ayers UPS driver from Roseburg suspected in 7 random shootings along Oregon highway from back of truck which led to one driver being injured. No known motive.
Kenneth Ayers, 49 a UPS truck driver was taken into custody in connection with the shootings on Wednesday, Oregon State Police announced.
Officials said Kenneth Ayers of Roseburg, fired at vehicles from a UPS tractor-trailer on seven separate occasions starting in May. A motive for the shootings was unknown.
The shootings, which were spread across three counties, ended on Thursday, one day after a woman driving on Interstate 5 was shot. She was treated at a hospital and released, the police said.
Officials said they immediately found the tractor-trailer about 60 miles north of the shooting. They did not say what led them to the tractor-trailer.
Gun used in shootings consistent with one found in UPS truck
Ayers was booked on multiple criminal charges, including attempted murder, unlawful use of a weapon, second-degree assault, criminal mischief and 13 counts of reckless of recklessly endangering another person. Appearing in a Jackson County courthouse on Friday, Ayers pleaded not guilty.
Investigators believed Ayers pulled the trigger in more than a dozen shootings of vehicles over the summer on Interstate 5 in Jackson, Josephine and Douglas counties in Oregon. The interstate spans Washington, Oregon and California.
Court records indicate that a .45 caliber handgun may have been used in the shootings in Jackson County, according to KEZI-TV. Oregon State Police spokesman Captain Tim Fox said Ayers is believed to have fired from the cab of his truck as it was moving.
A female motorist was shot Wednesday night, 9.45pm while she was traveling north in Oregon. Her precise injuries have not been released publicly, but she was treated at a hospital and subsequently released, KOIN-TV reports.
Authorities located a truck and UPS trailers 60 miles north of where the woman was shot.
‘The search of the truck revealed a firearm consistent with the type used,’ police said.
‘UPS arranged for another truck to pick up the trailers – and a search warrant was applied for and served,’ police said in a statement to Fox News. ‘The search of the truck revealed a firearm consistent with the type used.’
UPS release statement
Ayers’ route is believed to have changed around the time the shootings began in May.
Before the shootings, Ayers drove a route north of Roseburg, Oregon, which is the seat of Douglas County.
However, starting in May, Ayers’ route went into southern Douglas County and also into Jackson and Josephine counties.
Other shootings that police are investigating occurred on May 12, June 2, June 15, June 22, July 7 and July 9.
UPS issued a statement on Friday saying that it is cooperating with investigators and is ‘deeply concerned about these allegations.’
‘We are appalled to hear about these allegations and are fully cooperating with the responding authorities,’ the statement read, according to the News-Review. ‘Firearms are prohibited at UPS facilities and in our vehicles. We are extremely concerned for the motorists and other individuals who have been affected.’
UPS declined to say how long Mr. Ayers had worked for the company or if he had been fired as a result of the charges.
Ayers was being held in jail on $1 million bond. More charges could be forthcoming.