A Roseburg man has died of a bullet wound following a run-in with law enforcement on Highway 101 a couple of miles south of Reedsport Tuesday.
Oregon State Police say 55 year old Robert Jenkins died from a bullet fired by a Reedsport Police officer during a tense confrontation with himself and other officers. Jenkins had a handgun.
Oregon State Police say it all started early Tuesday when Jenkins was headed south on Highway 101 in Reedsport. OSP says he passed an empty school bus also headed south. The bus driver said he came upon the man’s blue Subaru that had stopped in the southbound lane about two miles south of Reedsport. Smoke was coming out of it as it started to burn.
The bus driver pulled over, grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran toward the car. But he stopped his approach when saw that Jenkins had a gun in his hand. The driver retreated to his bus and called 9-1-1.
Several law enforcement agencies raced to the scene. Upon their arrival they attempted to engage Jenkins. But in their attempt a Reedsport Police officer fired at Jenkins, inflicting a mortal wound. Jenkins died at a local hospital later in the day.
The officer is on paid administrative leave while the Douglas County District Attorney conducts an investigation.
Explosives experts attributed reports of small explosions going off inside the car as the result of the fire igniting aerosol cans and ammunition.