SUTHERLIN — Marie Munro-Pautot became concerned when she heard what sounded like a shot near her home late Friday night on Sunny Court.
When she heard what sounded like a popping noise minutes later, she wasn’t taking any chances. Munro-Pautot called the police around 10:45 p.m., locked her doors and got her gun out.
“I got my gun out,” Munro-Pautot said. “I didn’t know what was going on so I wanted to protect myself.”
Sutherlin Police Capt. Kurt Sorenson said the gun shots in the area of Sunny Court, including some heard by the first responding Sutherlin police officer, appeared to have been fired indiscriminately.
But for nearly 90 minutes, police took every precaution, with heavily armed officers from multiple agencies surrounding Sunny Court while searching for the source of the gun shots.
Police blocked off Sunny Lane near East Central Avenue while members of the Sutherlin Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police located a possible suspect and began negotiating with an adult male to come outside his home.
At around 12:25 a.m. Saturday, the suspect, Jeffrey Howard Jones, 49, was detained by officers without incident.
“Officers were able to make telephone contact with Jones and determined he was highly intoxicated,” Sorenson said in a press release. Officers determined Jones accidentally shot himself at his residence in October of 2018, according to the press release.
Sorenson confirmed Jones fired multiple rounds, but not at anyone. Officers said they believe he was shooting into the wooded area behind his house. No injuries were reported.
Witnesses on scene, watched from afar while authorities investigated.
Munro-Pautot’s son, Richard Munro, stood at the intersection of Sunny Lane and East Central Avenue with a radio in his hand, unable to advance further until police determined the area was safe.
Both are members of Sutherlin’s Community Emergency Response Team, a volunteer group set up to assist police when needed.
After waiting at the perimeter set up by police, Richard Munro contacted his mother on the radio one more time. Munro-Pautot, who installed home security cameras after some recent thefts, kept watch for any threat with her gun in hand.
“Keep your radio clear for now,” Richard Munro told his mom. “Just let me know if you see anything.”
Jones was lodged at the Douglas County Jail on charges of unlawful use of a weapon, reckless endangering and disorderly conduct.