Man Who Shot Salem Officer 4 Times Found Guilty Of Aggravated Attempted Murder
Salem, OR – A man who shot a Salem police officer four times during a traffic stop was convicted of premeditated, attempted aggravated murder.
Salem Police Officer Michelle Pratt only survived the multiple gunshot wounds because of her ballistic vest and her ability to apply a tourniquet to her own wounds.
The incident occurred at about 8:30 p.m. on May 14 when Officer Pratt made a traffic stop in the 500-block of Highland Avenue Northeast, KPTV reported.
In a video of the incident captured by security cameras on a nearby house, the officer was talking to the driver of the van, 38-year-old Jaime Lee Jimenez, while a passenger appeared to be getting out of the front seat.
What Officer Pratt did not know was that Jimenez had a .45-caliber handgun tucked under his leg, the Statesman Journal reported.
All of a sudden, the driver opened fire on the veteran female police officer, the video showed.
Officer Pratt turned and bolted away, toward her patrol vehicle.
She was hit multiple times, according to KPTV.
The shooter fled in the silver minivan, leaving the passenger on the sidewalk, the video showed.
Officer Pratt radioed dispatch.
"I've been hit multiple times," she said. "Vehicle just took off northbound. I need medics. Code 3."
Then Officer Pratt was asked where she was hit.
"At 5th and Highland. I need medics. Code 3. Been hit three times,” she advised. “Applying a tourniquet on my leg. I was hit in left arm and once in my vest."
Then Officer Pratt used the first aid trauma kit provided to each officer by the Salem Police Department to apply a tourniquet to her own leg and treat her left arm, the Statesman Journal reported.
The officer was shot in both legs, her left arm, and her back.
Her vest blocked the bullet that struck her back, the Statesman Journal reported.
The wounded officer was transported to Salem Hospital where she was treated.
The shooting set off an hours-long manhunt for Jimenez, who had abandoned the van he was driving four blocks after he shot Officer Pratt, the Statesman Journal reported.
After four hours of searching, police tracked Jimenez to the East Broadway Apartments where a standoff ensued.
More than an hour after police began negotiating with the gunman, witnesses reported seeing an explosive used to blast open the door of the apartment where Jimenez was holed up, the Statesman Journal reported.
He was taken into custody at about 9 a.m. the following morning and charged with attempted aggravated murder, four counts of second-degree assault, illegal possession of a firearm by a felon, delivery of methamphetamine, and delivery of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school.
Jimenez was held without bail pending his trial after the judge at his arraignment found him to a risk to public safety and a flight risk.
Marion County Judge Thomas Hart found Jimenez guilty of aggravated attempted murder after a stipulated facts trial on Dec. 12, the Statesman Journal reported.
Court records showed that Jimenez also pleaded guilty to four counts of second-degree assault, illegal possession of a firearm by a felon, and dealing methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school.
A woman who was found inside the apartment with Jimenez after the standoff – 35-year-old Amanda Cayetano – has been charged with vehicle theft and hindering prosecution, according to the Statesman Journal.
Prosecutors said the defendant had been wanted on a warrant for a domestic violence incident that happened one month earlier when he shot Officer Pratt.
Court records showed that Jimenez had a more than 10-year history of convictions for domestic violence assault and methamphetamine, the Statesman Journal reported.