Trooper placed on leave after Lincoln City standoff

Trooper placed on leave after Lincoln City standoff
Sarah Jo Johnson (left) and Dale Edward Wallace

LINCOLN CITY, Ore. -- Oregon State Police will follow standard procedure and place a trooper on paid administrative leave while his role in an armed standoff with fugitives in Lincoln City is investigated.

Trooper Adam Kowing, 26, was driving the patrol car that hit and injured a man police believe was on the run after a robbery in Montana. That fugitive, Dale Edward Wallace, 30, was badly hurt when Kowing’s police car knocked him over.

Kowing has been with OSP for 5 years. He is a patrol trooper based at the McMinnville Area Command office. He was in the Lincoln City area in his capacity as a member of the OSP SWAT team.

In Montana earlier in the week, warrants had been issued for Wallace and a woman named Sara Jo Johnson, both 30, Butte-Silver Bow County Sheriff Ed Lester said Friday.

Lester said the two were suspected of pointing a large-caliber handgun at the owner of Coins N Cards in Butte on Monday, tying him up and stealing five guns, cash and collectible coins.

The shop owner, who is in his 70s, was able to get out of his restraints and call for help.

The FBI alerted Lincoln City police that the pair might be in town with a stolen Nissan Altima.

At 2 p.m. Friday, the black car was found at a vacation condominium. Detectives kept watch and sought help from the SWAT team.

Wallace and Johnson left the condominium about two hours later, the chief said. Officers, including trooper Kowing, followed the car until it left Highway 101 and entered a parking lot.

During the ensuing stop, Wallace ran from the vehicle holding a gun. Troopers believe Wallace was pointing it at police officers when Kowing struck him with the patrol car. That claim will be investigated before Kowing can return to the job.

After Wallace was shot, police negotiated with Johnson for four hours before she killed herself, Lincoln City Police Chief Keith Kilian said Friday. She had been holed up in a vehicle with a handgun for hours, surrounded by the Oregon State Police SWAT team and officers from multiple agencies.

As of Monday afternoon, Wallace remained in law enforcement custody in a Portland hospital, where he remained in serious condition. He is likely to face criminal charges in connection with the Montana armed robbery.