Two dead, trooper injured in Mt. Vernon shootout

February 18, 2002 12:00 am

By Karen Sullivan

For The Observer

JOHN DAY A manhunt is under way in Grant County for a man suspected of killing his parents at their Long Creek home Sunday afternoon and wounding an Oregon State Police trooper in a shootout later that evening.

The alleged shooter has been identified as Almeron William Willy Hinton, 45, of Mount Vernon, according to OSP spokesman Tim McLain. McLain arrived in John Day by plane Sunday night from Portland along with a 25-person OSP SWAT team. The SWAT team is searching the Ingle Creek region of the Malheur National Forest south of Mount Vernon.

At about 6:15 p.m. Sunday a caller contacted the John Day police and reported two people had been shot and killed at a home in Long Creek by Willy Hinton, McLain said. John Day Police dispatched officers to the scene, and while en route they encountered Hinton driving a black 1987 Suzuki Samari along Cottonwood Street in Mount Vernon.

Hinton immediately opened fire on the police, with both police vehicles sustaining multiple shots, McLain said. Hinton fled south and was next encountered on Ingle Creek Road by OSP trooper Mike Durr, 46, of John Day. Hinton fired at Durrs vehicle and hit the trooper in the right arm.

Durr was flown by Air Life of Bend to St. Charles Medical Center at Bend, where he underwent surgery around midnight, McLain said. He was listed in fair condition this morning and was being treated for a broken arm.

The two people killed were Hintons parents, Al and Irene Hinton, according to police. The shooting occurred at about 1 p.m., McLain said.

No motive for the shootings has been identified and Hinton has escaped south. He is reported to have numerous weapons with him, including hunting rifles and handguns.

Hinton is 5-foot-11 and weighs 220 pounds. He has brown hair and green eyes and was last seen driving south on Ingle Creek Road in a 1987 black Suzuki Samari bearing Oregon license plate PZE 248.

Hinton was last seen wearing a black and red coat, green shirt, blue jeans and a brown hat.

He is considered armed and dangerous.