Rafael Gomez pleads not guilty to 13 felony charges
MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) – A man who allegedly tried to shoot eight people with a stolen rifle – including Sheriff Jason Pollock -- while on the run from the Jefferson County Fair and was shot by police last week was arraigned Thursday on a 13-count indictment, including three counts of attempted aggravated murder.
Rafael Gomez, still recovering from Friday’s gunshot injury that sent him initially to the hospital, appeared in Circuit Judge Annette Hillman’s court by video from the county jail, where he remains held without bail.
Gomez pleaded not guilty to the 13 felony charges and is due back in court Sept. 1 for a pre-trial conference.
The indictment returned by a grand jury lists eight charges of unlawful use of a weapon, for eight intended victims, and single counts of first-degree theft and felon in possession of a firearm.
Officials and witnesses said Gomez tried to enter several vehicles parked at the fairgrounds, finding the rifle in one, prompting several fair attendees to retrieve their handguns and confront him. He fled through a hole in a fence and ran from pursuing law enforcement, and was shot by law enforcement when he reportedly fired the gun in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant.
Pollock has declined to comment on the incident as the Tri-County Major Incident Team conducts a “use of force” investigation, other than to say he was “directly involved.”