A report of a stolen vehicle in Oregon on Saturday quickly morphed into a police chase that ended in a dramatic shootout -- caught on video -- and a person found dead inside a burnt-out car, officials said.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post the incident began around 6 p.m. when deputies received a report of a possible stolen vehicle at a Love’s Travel Stop along Interstate 5 in Roseburg. The vehicle had been reported stolen on March 7, and reportedly had multiple weapons, including a semi-automatic rifle, and ammunition inside.
Officers initially tried to stop the vehicle, but that only triggered a pursuit that ended on a nearby ranch's property, where the stolen car became stuck in a field.
The driver started shooting at authorities, who returned fire. Video taken by a witness shows the flash of a gun firing as several shots ring out. Livestock at the ranch can be seen running as the gun battle continues.
"I think that was the craziest thing I ever saw," Julie McCartt told FOX12
During the exchange of gunfire, the stolen car began to smoke -- and then caught on fire, according to police.
McCartt told FOX12 that "within a matter of minutes" the vehicle went up in flames.
When they were able to approach the vehicle, police found the driver had died.
No members of law enforcement were injured during the shootout, but officials said the involved officers were placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol in officer-involved shootings.
Investigators are now seeking assistance in determining the driver’s identity and said the incident remains under investigation by the Douglas County Major Crimes Team.