Updated at 2:18 p.m.

On Wednesday afternoon, homicide detectives found the body of 34-year-old Erika Lemere inside a Yreka, California, house. Hours later, her suspected killer was also dead, reportedly shot by four Oregon State Police troopers and two federal agents after a highway pursuit north of Grants Pass.

State Police said 32-year-old murder suspect Kaleb Landon was armed. They also said he crashed into another vehicle on Interstate 5 during the chase.

Yreka is a small town about a 90-minute drive south of Grants Pass on I-5. Officers found Lemere dead during a welfare check at 117 E. Howard St., “with obvious foul play noted,” said Yreka police Chief Brian Bowles.

Landon, who reportedly lived with Lemere, quickly became a suspect, police said.

Authorities alerted California and Oregon authorities, relaying information about Landon’s appearance, vehicle and possible location.

About 6 p.m. Wednesday, “the suspect was seen in a moving vehicle and troopers attempted to stop it,” said OSP spokesman Lt. Bill Fugate.

The chase lasted about a mile before Landon crashed into another vehicle, Fugate said. 

After a brief standoff, OSP troopers and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives opened fire on Landon, He was declared dead at the scene.

The Josephine County District Attorney’s Office is leading the investigation.

The OSP troopers who discharged their firearms were identified as: 

  • Sgt. Brandon Boice, who is stationed with the patrol division in Grants Pass and joined OSP in 2001. 
  • Sgt. First Class Jeff Fitzgerald, criminal investigations division, who is assigned to the Southwest Region Headquarters and joined OSP in 1999. 
  • Patrol Trooper Ryan Neuenschwander, who is assigned to the Central Point Area Command and joined OSP in 2008. 
  • Det. Brent Sitowski, criminal investigations division, who is assigned to Southwest Region Headquarters and joined OSP in 2007. 

As a matter of policy, ATF does not release the names of agents involved in an ongoing investigation, Fugate said.

The shooting, which occurred at milepost 72.5 near Wolf Creek Park, closed northbound I-5 until 2:15 a.m. Thursday. Bowles said Landon’s mother lives in nearby Sunny Valley.

In a statement, Bowles said Lemere’s family and “the officers” involved in the shooting were in his staff’s thoughts and prayers.

“The violent crime has struck many families and friends,” Bowles said, “and I hope time will heal the scars left behind.”

— Joseph Rose
503-221-8029
[email protected]
@josephjrose

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