PENDLETON – The following is a news release from Pendleton Police Chief Chuck Byram. In it he reports the 30-year-old man from Washington state who forced an hours-long shutdown of Interstate 84 Friday perished.
At approximately 12:00 p.m. on December 31, 2021, the Pendleton Police Department, at the request of the Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office and in compliance with the Umatilla County Deadly Physical Force Plan, assumed control of the investigation regarding the incident that occurred on Cabbage Hill earlier in the day. This incident started with the pursuit of a suspect in a stolen vehicle in Union County and ended on Interstate 84 at approximately mile post 223.
Several rounds were fired by the suspect at an Oregon State Police Trooper and civilians, as the suspect, while trying to flee, stole several (carjacking) occupied vehicles on the Interstate. The Oregon State Police Trooper and one civilian/victim of a carjacking returned fire at the suspect.
The incident ended after the suspect’s stolen vehicle became disabled and he was found unresponsive with an injury to his head. Life saving efforts were performed by law enforcement on scene and the suspect was transported to the hospital, but later succumbed to his injuries at 9:00 p.m. on December 31, 2021. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the manner and cause of death of 30-year-old Nicholas Russell Proudfoot, a North Bend, Washington, resident.
No civilians or law enforcement officers were injured during this incident. Interstate 84 between mile post 237 and 223 on both the east and westbound sides were closed for several hours due to multiple crimes scenes created during this incident. The Pendleton Police Department is receiving assistance in this on-going investigation from Hermiston Police Department, Umatilla Tribal Police Department, Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office, Union County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, Oregon State Police Crime Lab and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Once the investigation is complete, all material will be turned over to the Umatilla County District Attorney.