Suspect Dead After High Speed Chase
A high speed chase from Mapleton to Florence Saturday ended in the death of a suspect who fired on police. There is still information coming in on the incident, but we know that Lane County Sheriff’s were pursuing a vehicle that had fired upon officers and was speeding west on 126. They were joined in the pursuit by Douglas County Sheriff’s and Florence Police. The pursuit ended near the entrance to Three Rivers Casino. Residents who live near the area reported a barrage of gunfire. The incident caused the closure of 126 while the Lane County Interagency Deadly Force Investigation Team gathered information. There were several injuries reported that involved police personnel, but none were gunshots nor were they life threatening. Highway 126 was closed for most of the evening Saturday and reportedly opened for traffic in both directions around 4 a.m. Sunday.
Shooting Suspect Stole Car
A quiet day at the beach with his son turned chaotic for Brandon Nivilinsky on Saturday. Nivilinsky says he had just returned from the beach and was relaxing on his front porch when a man came walking up his steps. The man, out of breath and asking for help, was acting erratic, saying there had been a car wreck. Nivilinsky said he sensed something was off about the whole situation and told the man he would help after he got his shoes.
“I said well let me grab my shoes, you know, and as I turned he pulled out a gun and said don’t move or I’ll kill you and that’s when things got a little intense there…(sigh)”
Nivilinsky said the gunman asked he a couple of times if anyone else was home and he told him no, for fear that if he got inside something worse could happen. The gunman then asked Nivilinsky for his car keys.
“And then he’s like, ‘Where are your car keys?’ and luckily my car keys were actually in my car and I said hey, they’re in my car and that’s my car right there.”
Nivilinsky said the man told him to get down on his knees as he backed away toward the vehicle, still pointing the gun at him as he got in the car and drove off. The vehicle was a green, 2016, Subaru outback. He said it was a stressful ordeal, but he is happy that he and his family were safe, and he is more aware of how quickly life can change.
“You just don’t know what’s going to happen once into the next. You know, I’m having a great day, sitting on my porch, perfectly calm, and then there’s a gun pointed at me and my life might just end right here, right now.”
Nivilinsky said he later watched a video taken at the scene and that it seemed as if a hundred rounds were fired. His vehicle now sits in an impound lot waiting on forensics. He says he believes it’s the end of the line for his car.
Students Promote Volunteerism
Kaylee Graham and Ava Glowacki are interested in making Florence a more beautiful place through volunteerism. The 7th annual Power of Florence is set for Saturday July 15th. Kaylee says she initiated this event to get kids involved in volunteering and it has grown to a city wide effort. So far it will be a busy day in Florence:
“We actually have 26 events to date right now. And we have less than a month, I think, until the Power of Florence so that’s really good and we’ve gotten a lot of those events early which is great.”
Ava Glowacki has been on board for 3 years now and she says it all about giving back for her:
“Because I like helping others and making sure that I can help out in the community.”
Graham and Glowacki say they are still looking to add projects to their list and service groups can go to their website powerofflorence .org or find them on facebook by searching Power of Florence. The event takes place the third Saturday in July. Due to the month beginning on a Saturday the event will be July 15th.