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Crook County Man Arrested in Shooting Incident


A rural Crook County resident surrendered and was arrested without incident Friday evening after numerous shots were fired toward a neighbor?s home and responding deputies, causing shotgun pellets to land on them as they took cover behind their patrol cars, officials said.

Alcohol was a factor in the incident that prompted the callout of Central Oregon?s SWAT Team, but while they were en route, the situation was resolved and Mark Burris, 58, was taken into custody at his home along Conant Basin Road in the Post area, about 20 miles southeast of Prineville, said Undersheriff John Gautney.

Deputies were dispatched around 4:15 p.m. on a report of gunshots being fired in the direction of a home along the road, just off Highway 380 near Paulina, Gautney said.

Two deputies arrived on scene and made contact with the reporting party, and as they conducted their investigation, more shots were fired from atop a ridge above where they were located, the undersheriff said.

The deputies reported shots were being fired from both a high-powered rifle and a shotgun, and the ricochets were going over their head, Gautney said.

Gautney said he and Sheriff Jim Hensley responded to help the deputies on scene, who determined Burris owned the property where the shots were coming from.

He said deputies tried to get Burris to stop shooting by using a public address system, but there was no response.

Deputies could not get to Burris?s home without being in the direct line of fire from the property, so Hensley asked for the Central Oregon Emergency Response Team (CERT) to be activated, to assist in the situation Gautney said.

?The deputies were pinned down and couldn?t get to the house,? he said.

While CERT was en route, deputies were able to reach Burris by phone and asked him to come out without the weapons. Gautney said Burris voluntarily walked out to the road, where he was contacted by deputies and taken into custody without further incident.

Gautney said Burris had “past disagreements” with his neighbor, “but not today.”

“He was shooting into a hillside, and the bullets were deflecting over onto the neighbors’ property,” the undersheriff said.

Burris was lodged in the Crook County Jail on five counts of reckless endangering and single counts of disorderly conduct, unlawful use of a weapon and discharging a weapon across a highway.

Gautney said no one was injured, but added, ?There were five people in danger of being struck by bullets, as well as people driving on the state highway and county road.?

Noting that Burris apparently was intoxicated, Gautney said, ?Alcohol and guns don?t go together.?

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