Police: Ontario man fired 50+ shots into ground with rifle, pistol, shotgun

Chase ensues after several neighbors evacuated, businesses placed on lockdown in Ontario as man fires 50+ shots into ground with rifle, pistol, shotgun

ONTARIO, Ore. -- A man police described as a "mental subject" caused a stir in an Ontario neighborhood when he fired 50 to 60 shots into his own yard Thursday, Oregon State Police say.

No one was injured in the shooting, and the suspect - identified as 52-year-old Jeff McKee of Ontario - has been taken into custody. 

OSP Lt. Mark Duncan said police have had problems with McKee in the past. The suspect believed that because he lives just outside Ontario city limits, he is entitled to shoot off guns on his property, according to police.

Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe said deputies have had  "multiple contacts with [McKee] over the last three weeks," including responding to prior instances of him shooting guns in his yard.

The confrontation began at about 10 a.m. in the 1400 block of Southeast Second Street. Duncan said McKee repeatedly shot into the ground using a shotgun, rifle and handgun, sometimes going back into his house, only to emerge a short time later and fire more shots.

Several neighbors called 911 to report the gunshots. Shortly after, McKee himself called into dispatch, telling them he wanted the "radiation turned off.

"Mr. McKee believed he had radiation turned on and pointed at him," Wolfe said. "He believed he was being poisoned by radiation from law enforcement."

No officers or deputies fired their weapons during the confrontation, and McKee did not attempt to aim or shoot at any people, Duncan said, adding that although the situation was serious, he would not classify it as an "active shooter" scenario.

Several neighbors were evacuated, and nearby businesses were placed on lockdown. As police were still working to set up a perimeter around McKee's house, he got in his vehicle with at least one gun and drove away, according to OSP.

A short chase ensued, and authorities successfully stopped his vehicle about two miles from his house. McKee was taken into custody, and will likely face charges including unlawful use of a weapon, Duncan said.

Duncan said local law enforcement has been working to get McKee help through community resources, but he had declined to take advantage of any treatment.

"This has been an ongoing situation with this gentleman," he said.

Duncan said officers and deputies will be checking around the area to make sure none of the bullets ricocheted and hit any cars or other property. 

Wolfe said the District Attorney will ultimately determine what charges McKee will face.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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