Silverton suspect asked to buy gun day before shooting

SILVERTON, Ore. -- Sunday afternoon, Silverton police were still at the Olson Road home where victim Cassandra Wagner used to live with the man accused of killing her, Jason Clifford Down.

She was shot and killed in the home Saturday afternoon and police conducted an extensive manhunt for Down until he showed up at the Silverton Hospital.

KGW sources say Down had a gunshot wound. He's been airlifted to a Portland hospital for treatment.

More: Woman killed in Silverton, second homicide on road in past year

An acquaintance of the suspect, who asked not to be named, saw Down one day before Wagner's death. He said Down told him something chilling one day before the killing.

"He told me he was going to sell everything he had and wanted me to buy cars, motorcycles and trucks. Then he said he was going to shoot her, then shoot himself," the man said. "I really, truly thought he was just blowing off steam!"

Down also asked if there was a gun for sale but he said no.

Neighbors say they had been trying to protect Wagner from Down.

"She came down several weeks earlier and shared she got a restraining order against Jason and to be aware and keep our eyes open," said Ben Knutson, who lives next door.

His wife, Noemi, was very worried about Cassandra.

"She put a restraining order out because he had been physically abusive and she had asked us to watch out over her house and her," said Knutson. "We prayed for her, then we come home to this."

Kris Mitchell went to Silverton High School with Wagner and says Cassandra looked out after her mother.

"She's a sweet person, a caregiving-type person. In fact, she was always taking care of people," said Mitchell.

In a strange twist, just 9 months ago, someone was murdered in this yellow house directly across the street from where Wagner was killed. The crimes are unrelated, but neighbors say this sort of thing just doesn't happen in Silverton.

"It's a quiet peaceful place. I mean, look, there's a deer right here in our yard," said Ben Knutson.

Looking back, Noemi Knutson said there were many red flags prior to Saturday's murder. She hopes other women in bad relationships will take notice and take action.

"Women, I've got to talk to all of you, when you see those red flags, nip it in the bud right away. Don't wait for this to happen to you," she said.

Suspect Jason Clifford Down is in a Portland hospital and is not in custody.

Police say they do have officers with him.


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