SALEM, Ore. — Kenneth Ayers, 49, a truck driver from Roseburg, Oregon, has been arrested in connection to the shooting of a motorist that took place Aug. 19 on Interstate 5 in Jackson County. Ayers is a driver for UPS.
According to an Aug. 20 statement released by the Oregon State Police (OSP), at approximately 9:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 19, OSP troopers and emergency personnel were called to I-5 northbound near milepost 37 in response to a report that a motorist had been shot. Preliminary investigation revealed that a female motorist was northbound when she was struck with a bullet. She was transported to the hospital, treated and released for injuries.
The statement noted that OSP had reason to believe the shooting is linked to previous shootings reported along I-5 beginning in late May, and that the department was working with the District Attorney’s Offices in Jackson, Josephine and Douglas counties.
At approximately 11 p.m. on Aug. 20, OSP arrested Ayers, who was lodged in the Jackson County Jail on charges of attempted murder, assault 2, unlawful use of a weapon (7), criminal mischief 2 (7) and recklessly endangering another person (13). At the time of this writing on Aug. 24, Ayers was not among the inmates listed on the Jackson County Jail website.
According to an Aug. 21 Facebook post by OSP, Ayers is also under investigation in relation to the following shootings along I-5: May 12 in Josephine County, June 2 in Jackson County, June 15 in Douglas County, June 22 in Josephine County, July 7 in Douglas County, July 9 in Josephine County and Aug. 19 in Jackson County.
The Facebook post continued:
“Immediately following the August 19 shooting troopers were able to locate a UPS tractor-trailer combination approximately 1 hour and 60 miles north of the shooting incident. Through the subsequent investigation the truck was seized — UPS arranged for another truck to pick up the trailers — and a search warrant was applied for and served. The search of the truck revealed a firearm consistent with the type used.”
The post noted that UPS is cooperating with OSP in the investigation.
In addition, OSP asks that anyone with information regarding the incidents noted above to contact the department. According to OSP, before the I-5 shootings began in May, Ayers’ route was north of Roseburg; beginning in May his route took him south of Roseburg, as well as along Highway 140 and Highway 62.