Local government

Police post reward seeking suspect in shooting death of Ontario man

ONTARIO – Police are still searching for the individual who shot and killed an Ontario man, Tuesday, Jan. 16, at a homeless encampment north of town.
Travis Johnson, Malheur County Sheriff, said last week police are going “full speed ahead” on the investigation into who killed Daniel Mendoza Olvera, 40, of Ontario.
A $2,500 reward has been posted for information related to the murder.
“We have a couple of people of interest and several people we are seeking to interview,” said Johnson.
Olvera was found dead by a sheriff’s deputy in response to a 911 call of shots fired in an area commonly referred to as “The Flats,” near 1187 Northwest 22nd Avenue, across the highway from Love’s Travel Stop.
Johnson said Olvera was shot “multiple times.”
Johnson said the investigation is hampered by a lack of cooperation from the transient population.
“They’re pretty tight-lipped right now. We are working with the transient community who are not particularly fond of law enforcement,” he said.
As part of the investigation, Johnson said an autopsy was scheduled for Monday, Jan. 22.
The sheriff’s office has teamed up with Crime Stoppers of Oregon to post a $2,500 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
“A vehicle was observed leaving the scene after the shooting with multiple occupants,” the reward announcement said. Photos of the car have been posted online. Tipsters can submit information anonymously to crimestoppersoforegon.com.
Olvera’s death was the second serious shooting incident to occur in the Ontario area within a month.
A December 29 shooting in the parking lot of Albertsons left a 16-year-old hospitalized with serious injuries and led to the arrest of three men.
Johnson said the number of serious crimes in the past few months – including the murder of Malheur County resident Daniela Perez in October – points to an alarming rise in violent crime.
“In general, and across the country and our state it seems to be more violent. We are seeing more shootings and homicides in our community,” he said.
Johnson said he believes the rise in violent crime is a societal problem manifesting in rural Oregon.
“I think it speaks to the state of our country and, in my opinion, the lack of accountability for people,” he said.
Johnson said his deputies are focused on staying visible throughout the community.
“We have to keep at it. We can complain about legislation but the bottom line is we have to keep doing what we can do to keep these guys on their toes,” he said.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected].

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