News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Attempted murder suspect shoots self near Detroit

Authorities are investigating an attempted murder/suicide after a Salem man allegedly shot a woman Tuesday then killed himself after police caught up to him near Detroit.

According to the Salem Police Department, the first shooting occurred around 10:40 a.m. at a residence on the 1300 block of Vista Avenue SE in South Salem.

Phillip Wayne Johnson, 37, allegedly drove his truck into the residence, shot a woman inside the home then drove away. The victim, described as a 31-year-old Salem resident, was transported to Salem Health and as of press deadline remained in critical condition. 

Police said Johnson and the victim knew each other “from a past relationship” and withheld additional details, including the victim’s name.

Police believed the woman’s children, who attended Morningside Elementary School nearby, may also have been in danger. The school was placed on lockdown.

A description of Johnson and his vehicle were distributed to area law enforcement and at 11:15 a.m. he was spotted by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office eastbound on Hwy. 22. 

Around noon the City of Detroit alerted residents to remain inside and lock all doors and windows until further notice due to police activity.

Deputies deployed a tire deflation device and Johnson’s vehicle was stopped near milepost 47, about three miles west of Detroit.

Upon approaching the truck deputies found Johnson deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

At 12:24 p.m. the lockdown at Morningside was lifted and no harm to students or staff was reported.

Hwy. 22 was closed from milepost 47 to 49 for approximately seven hours as police investigated the scene.

According to court records, Johnson did not have a criminal history in Oregon. On Aug. 2 Marion County Circuit Court enforced a child support order against Johnson issued April 21 in Kern County, Calif.

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