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Salem police officers shoot and kill robbery suspect in exchange of gunfire

The person was fatally shot at around 9 a.m. Monday in the parking lot of an auto parts store on Commercial Street Southeast in Salem.

SALEM, Ore. — Salem police officers shot and killed a man following an armed robbery attempt and an exchange of gunfire Monday morning, police said.

The man, later identified as 27-year-old Michael James Compton, was fatally shot at around 9 a.m. Monday in the parking lot of Napa Auto Parts in the area of Commercial Street Southeast and Barnes Avenue.

In a press release, police said the man tried to rob and carjack someone in the parking lot of a Walmart on Commercial Street. As officers responded, Compton ran to a nearby gym and then to the auto parts store.

Salem police said that when officers arrived, Compton fired "at least once," hitting the windshield of a patrol cruiser. Officers returned fire, according to the agency, hitting and killing the suspect.

Rosendo Corral, a witness to the shooting, described what they saw. According to Corral, the suspect was running away and then turned to shoot at police. They returned fire and the suspect fell to the ground — but he continued shooting.

"The cops shot back at him when he was on the ground," Corral said. "They hit him about six or eight times. And he started moving a little bit, and the cops told him, 'Put your weapon down!' But he was already dead."

No officers or bystanders were injured in the exchange of gunfire, Salem police said.

Officers found a black handgun underneath Compton's body, according to the agency, as well as a loaded magazine inside his pocket. Compton had multiple warrants for his arrest out of Clackamas and Lane counties.

His next of kin has been notified of his death, and police said that a Family Services Coordinator from the Marion County District Attorney’s Office was made available to his family "to answer their questions and communicate appropriate information from the investigation."

Salem police identified the officers involved in the shooting Monday afternoon. They are Senior Officer Justin Carney, a 22-year officer; Corporal Kristy Fitzpatrick, a 14-year officer; Officer Reece Mathis, a 1-year officer; Corporal Adam Waite, a 15-year officer; and Senior Officer Robert Acosta, a 17-year officer.

Oregon State Police will conduct the primary investigation into the shooting.

Salem police said the southbound lanes of Commercial Street at Kuebler Boulevard were closed and the northbound lanes were closed at Barnes Avenue. They did not say when the street would reopen.

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