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Suspect sought in gunshots at Redmond-area transient camp

Transient camp area near Redmond
Deschutes County deputies are looking for a man who reportedly fired gunshots during a fight at a transient camp east of Redmond early Monday

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies are looking for a 47-year-old man who witnesses said fired two or three gunshots during a fight with another man early Monday morning at a transient camp east of Redmond.

Around 5 a.m., 911 dispatchers got a call from a woman at the camp on undeveloped property near Northeast 17th Street and Hemlock Avenue who reported a fight over a possibly stolen utility trailer between Earl Benjamin Noble and a 60-year-old camp resident led to shots being fired by Noble, Sgt. Shawn Heierman said.

Several sheriff’s deputies, along with the sheriff’s office SWAT team, Bend and Redmond police and Oregon State Police units went to the scene to help evacuate camp residents, secured the area and search for Noble, who fled shortly before they arrived.

The alleged intended victim suffered minor injuries, Heierman said, and no one else apparently was harmed.

Heierman said witnesses said Noble entered another person’s trailer, trying to get someone to pull the utility trailer to another place for him, and the alleged victim came to help. He said it was not confirmed the utility trailer was stolen.

At some point, witnesses said, Noble produced a handgun and fired two or three shots. Heierman said it’s not known if they were fired in the alleged victim’s direction, as no gunshot evidence could be found.

“But more than one witness said he fired a gun,” the sergeant said, adding that some witnesses didn’t want to cooperate in the investigation, making it “tough to get actual facts pinned down.”

Heierman said that based on witness statements, Noble likely faces charges of first-degree burglary, fourth-degree assault, menacing, unlawful use of a weapon and felon in possession of a firearm. 

Noble supposedly lives at another transient camp but was staying at the one where the shots were fired, Heierman said. Someone led investigators to a tent at another location Monday, but Noble was not there.

Noble is wanted for questioning and should be considered armed and dangerous, the sergeant said. Anyone with information is asked to call 911.

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Barney Lerten

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