Motel shooting ends without bloodshed
By David Jaques
An exchange of gunfire between suspect Jonathan Lackey and numerous police officers resulted in an over 3 hour standoff with dozens of police at the Casa Loma Motel on N.E. Stephens in Roseburg, Oregon. The incident began with the investigation of a possible homicide which occurred earlier that same day and ended when 23 year old gunman, Jonathan Lackey, surrendered.
At approximately 3:00 pm on Monday, December 17, 2012, several law enforcement units were dispatched to the Casa Loma Motel seeking a man characterized by police as a “local transient”, to investigate a possible connection to the death of an elderly man who resided at 437 S.E. Ramp Road.
According to a statement from the Roseburg Police Department; upon arrival at the Casa Loma Motel, Detectives with the Douglas County Major Crimes Team attempted to make contact with Lackey. After knocking on the door repeatedly, Lackey finally exited the room and “aimed a handgun at one of the Detectives and fired it.”
Several detectives positioned outside the motel returned fire, and Lackey was forced to retreated back into the room. Police reports state that Lackey then broke out the rear window of the motel room and fired additional shots. Witnesses at nearby businesses and residences confirmed hearing multiple gunshots.
Within minutes of the exchange of gunfire, law enforcement had closed N.E. Stephens St. (Highway 99) from Winchester Blvd. on the South to Garden Valley at the North.
Meanwhile snipers took up positions facing the door of Room 2 of the Casa Loma Motel, pinning down the lone gunman. Law enforcement officers, with full body armor and riot gear, took up positions in the road on N.E. Stephens, on the roof of an adjoining motel, and in strategic positions behind the motel in the Little Caesar Pizza parking lot.
More than three hours elapsed as several snipers were rotated periodically due to extreme cold temperatures and freezing rain which fell off and on throughout the ordeal.
As the afternoon gave way to nightfall, additional law enforcement vehicles arrived on the scene, including a large panel truck from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and an armored vehicle also from the DCSO. During that time spot lights were focused on Room 2 in an effort to illuminate the target and “reduce visibility” for the perpetrator lodged inside.
Assets from Roseburg P.D., the D.C. Sheriff’s office, State Police, Sutherlin P.D., and Winston P.D. were deployed to the scene and used to cordon off side streets and access points to that section of Stephens.
Several businesses in the area were vacated in an effort to protect bystanders from errant gunfire.
The Beacon learned through confidential informants that Lackey was being sought for questioning as to his possible involvement in the death of 71 year old Roseburg resident, Richard Casebeer, whose home on Ramp Road was partially burned earlier in the day, on Monday, December 17.
Neither fire investigators nor law enforcement have officially released the name of the deceased, found inside the home, however the Beacon confirmed the identity of the homeowner with family members. Though no cause of death has been released, an informant confirmed that his death was not fire related.
Casebeer had no children, and his wife Linda has been deceased for many years. He is survived by two cousins, one living in eastern Douglas County, the other in Jackson County. Both said it has been several years since they’ve spoken with Richard.
Casebeer, a retired City of Roseburg public works employee, was characterized by neighbor, Faye Mentzer, as a “pleasant man”. Mentzer said that during the past summer she observed a young man, who she described as being in his late teens or early twenties, approximately 5’ 10”, and of slender build, helping Casebeer around his property. She said the young man usually wore a stocking cap and had most recently been helping Casebeer build a gazebo in his front yard.
Though Mentzer was unaware of a connection between the arrest of Jonathan Lackey and the house fire across the street from her home, there appears to be a resemblance between her description of the young man helping her neighbor during the past spring and summer, and that of Jonathan Lackey.
Roseburg Police Department’s PIO, Sergeant, Jeff Eichenbusch, told the Beacon the two incidents are being investigated independently, but would not deny a connection between them.
When the first reports of gunfire were received, police units were initially sent to the Ramp Road location, before being rerouted to the Casa Loma Motel on N.E. Stephens.
The standoff at the Casa Loma Motel ended at approximately 6:30 pm, after several hours of intense negotiations. Lackey surrendered, exiting Room 2, by backing out of the room at the command of law enforcement with hands over his head. He was then told to get down on his knees, hand cuffed, and led to a waiting Roseburg squad car. Lackey was lodged in the Douglas County Corrections facility.
On Tuesday, Lackey was arraigned before Judge Julie Zuver. The video arraignment lasted about three minutes. He was charged with: five felony counts of Attempted Aggravated Murder; five counts of Attempted Felony Assault 1; one count Class C Felony Unlawful Use of a Weapon; one count Class A Misdemeanor Menacing; one count Class B Misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct; and one count Class A Misdemeanor Recklessly Endangering Another.
Investigative teams spent Tuesday at the Casa Loma scene marking, photographing, and gathering forensic evidence both inside the room and in the parking lot. Several gunshot entry points were marked and labeled in the front of the room where Lackey had been holed up.
The Oregon State Police Forensic Evidence Team, on Tuesday, also had tents and investigation units stationed at the Ramp Road home and were assisted by local law enforcement.