Man shot by police in critical condition

Man shot by police in critical condition »Play Video
Michael Thomas Mason

EUGENE, Ore. - The man shot by police Wednesday after a report of shots fired in a mall parking lot is in critical condition Thursday evening.

Police on Thursday identified the man as Michael Thomas Mason, 27, the son of a former Eugene police sergeant who retired in 2003.

Mason is listed in critical condition at Sacred Heart Hospital at RiverBend in Springfield, Ore.

Police also said the two officers involved in the shooting are Sgt. Bill Solesbee and Officer Marcus Pope.

Pope joined the force in 2004. Solesbee has been with EPD since 1995.

An interagency team required by Oregon law is investigating the shooting. Their findings will be reviewed by the district attorney to determine whether officers were justified in using deadly force against Mason.

The shooting happened off River Road, but the incident started earlier in the parking lot of Valley River Center with a report of a man firing shots at cars. No one was injured, but police have said the shooter hit two cars.

Police got a cell phone number for the suspect, 27-year-old Michael Thomas Mason, from a relative, Police Chief Pete Kerns said Wednesday night.

That enabled crisis negotiators to talk to Mason as police tracked him down.

Less than an hour later, police caught up with him on Zane Lane off River Road. Chief Kerns said that when Mason stopped driving, he showed some threatening behavior.

"The suspect's hands and body were constantly in motion," Kerns said. "Throughout the front portion interior of the vehicle, his behavior was unpredictable and did not comply with officers clear instructions."

Kerns said that's when Sgt. Bill Solesbee and Officer Marcus Pope shot the suspect.

"I heard police coming this way, sirens very quickly," said witness Darrell Bassett. "I heard the sirens stop right down here and right after that I believe I heard three shots."

Police gave first aid to the suspect until medics arrived and took him to the hospital.