The Bend Police Department has released the names of the officers involved in a shooting Monday that left a Bend woman seriously injured after a pursuit and traffic stop that ended near Brothers.
The agency members are Sgt. Thomas Russell and officers Tim Williams and Victor Umnitz.
The incident started around 3 a.m. Monday when an officer at St. Charles on an unrelated incident was flagged down by hospital security to help with a woman in front of the ER who was acting erratically and had blood on her, Bend Police Lt. Juli McConkey said.
As officers tried to contact the woman, later identified as 29-year-old Danielle Nichole Bower, she drove her white Dodge Caravan over curbs, across landscaping and through grass to elude officers, McConkey said. Officers then chased Bower through Bend, east on to Highway 20 towards Brothers.
McConkey said Bower’s van left the road and came to a stop a couple miles west of Brothers. Details from this point haven’t been released, but when officers tried to contact and arrest Bowers, they fired their weapons and she was injured.
The officers have all been placed on administrative leave.
“This assignment to administrative leave is not an indication of wrong doing, but rather to be maintained compliance with department policy and in accordance with the Deschutes County Deadly Force Plan,” McConkey said.
Russell is assigned to the patrol division and a 13-year-veteran with Bend Police; Williams is in the patrol division and a 3-year-veteran of the department while Umniz is a 15-year-veteran with the department, currently assigned as a Police K-9 handler. All three are veterans and have numerous law enforcement commendations.
Bower, a mother of two children, is employed at Five Talent in Bend serving as Manager of Partnerships responsible for all the technology partners that work with the software and web developer.
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel told Central Oregon Daily News Bower is alive and is expected to live, but could not provide any other information.
“This is an unusual case,” he said, recalling the officers first encountering Bower in the St. Charles parking lot covered in blood. “In addition to me investigating why was she shot at the end of the pursuit, I’m also investigating why was she covered in blood? What were the circumstances that resulted in that?”
Hummel said they know more about why she was covered in blood than they did on the first night of the investigation, but they’re not certain about all the details.
“I don’t think we know everything,” he said. “I think there’s more evidence to be uncovered and I encourage anyone who knows something that hasn’t been shared with us yet to come forward because we’re going to find out and it would certainly help them if they told us before we found out.”
He said his team has talked to numerous witnesses and done a forensic analysis with the help of the Oregon State Police Crime Lab and detectives from throughout the region.
“I’m confident that we will know what happened relatively soon, probably in weeks not months, but we’ll take as long as we need to take to get it right,” he said.