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Police: Suspects arrested after shooting at Portland officer, leading chase

Portland police said this was one of several shootings they responded to overnight.
Credit: Portland Police Bureau
The black 2000 Ford Mustang driven by the suspects who fled from Portland police after allegedly shooting at an officer on Thursday, Feb. 17.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Three people were arrested following a chase Thursday night, during which the suspects allegedly shot at a police officer in Northeast Portland. The officer was not hurt.  

Officers were patrolling the area of Northeast Sandy Boulevard and I-205, where there has been a recent uptick in shootings, when they saw a driver in a black Ford Mustang driving recklessly at about 10:37 p.m. 

Police said he was dangerously changing lanes and failing to obey stop signs. 

When officers tried to pull him over, police said he fled at high speeds and tried to get away. 

A short time later, police said they deployed spike strips to stop the suspects' vehicle was it was approaching the onramp to I-84 westbound from Northeast César E. Chávez Boulevard. 

Police said the occupants of the Mustang shot at an officer who was standing outside his patrol vehicle on the onramp. Then, with multiple flat tires, they continued westbound on I-84 to I-5 northbound. 

Officers followed the suspects from a distance as they crossed over the I-5 bridge and into Vancouver, Wash.

The Mustang crashed near Northeast St. Johns Road and 68th Street in Vancouver just before 11 p.m., and the three occupants ran away on foot. Police said two were detained immediately and a third was captured with the help of a police K-9. No injuries were reported. 

Inside the Mustang, police recovered three guns along with bullet casings. 

The suspects were identified as Cuahutemoc Hernandez, 24, Zachary M. Chronister, 27, and Jose A. Martinez, 23. 

Hernandez has been charged with attempted murder in the first degree and unlawful use of a weapon. He's facing additional charges in Clark County.

Chronister was charged with attempted murder in the first degree, unlawful use of a weapon and felon in possession of a firearm. He also had an outstanding parole violation warrant issued by the Oregon State Parole Board. His original charge was assault. He's also facing additional charges in Clark County. 

Martinez was charged with unlawful use of a weapon and felon in possession of a firearm.

"These suspects not only put our whole community in danger through their outrageous actions, but they tried to kill a police officer doing his duty," said Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell. "I'm relieved that the officer was not hurt, and that the suspects were captured."

This incident was one of several shootings that Portland police responded to overnight. 

Around 3:40 a.m. Friday, less than four hours after this shooting, police got a call from a man who said car prowlers shot at him near Powell Butte. 

The caller said he and his son went outside to confront the car prowlers, who then fled eastbound on Southeast Powell Boulevard in a dark-colored Jeep. The caller said he and his son followed them in their car, and the suspects got out of the car near Southeast 172nd Avenue and shot at them. The victims' car had a bullet hole but no one was hurt. 

There were at least four other shootings between Thursday night and early Friday morning, including one near Northeast 12th and Irving and another near Southeast Ramona and 123rd where vehicles were struck multiple times but no one was hurt.

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