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 Oregon State Police during a traffic stop north of Grants Pass.

The Josephine County District Attorney’s Office and Grants Pass police, which are investigating the fatal police shooting, had released few details Thursday morning. Authorities even declined to say whether more than one trooper discharged a firearm in the confrontation.

Because of the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation, Matthew Corey, a deputy district attorney, said he couldn’t discuss whether 32-year-old murder suspect Kaleb Landon was armed or shot at police during the stop along Interstate 5.

Yreka is a small border 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,” according to statement from Yreka police Chief Brian Bowles.

Landon, a Yreka resident, quickly became a suspect, police said.

Authorities sent out to California and Oregon authorities information about Landon’s appearance, vehicle and possible location.

About 6:16 p.m. Wednesday, “Oregon police authorities located the vehicle and suspect, and an officer-involved shooting occurred,” Bowles said. 

An official familiar with investigation said at least one OSP trooper fired the fatal shots. Corey would not confirm that information, but said, “OSP may release more information today.”

OSP officials had not returned a phone call or email requesting more information about the case.

The shooting, which occurred at milepost 72.5 near Wolf Creek Park, closed northbound Interstate 5 until 2:15 a.m. Thursday.

Bowles, who has not returned a reporter’s phone calls, said Lemer’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
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