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Shots end ax attack at resort, police say

Originally ran here as:
"Shots end ax attack at resort, police say"
by Larry Bacon
The Register-Guard
December 19, 2001

DUNES CITY, OREGON - Two people suffered ax wounds in an attack in Dunes City that was ended when another person shot the suspected ax wielder.

Two men involved in the Monday night attack remained in serious condition Tuesday night at a Portland hospital. A woman injured in the melee was treated Monday at Peace Harbor Hospital in Florence and released.

The incident began just after 9 p.m. Monday at Siltcoos Resort in the Westlake area of Dunes City when a man used an ax to attack a 34-year-old woman and a 51-year-old man, both residents of the resort, according to Oregon State Police.

The suspected attacker was then shot by Byron Lee Sanchez, 28, state police said.

No arrests have been made in the matter, but state police named Jimmie Douglas Davis, 35, as the suspected attacker. He had been staying with various residents at the complex, made up of apartments and mobile homes, police said.

State police Lt. Cal Curths said the case will be reviewed by the Lane County district attorney's office. Sanchez was questioned and released, Curths said.

In the eyes of some Siltcoos Resort residents, Sanchez is a hero who came to the rescue of the 51-year-old resident.

"He definitely saved his life," said resident Rennie Strebendt, who tended to the victim after the attack.

It wasn't clear what prompted the attack, but neighbors said Davis had argued with both victims.

Residents said Sanchez apparently got involved after he heard a commotion in the apartments of first one victim and then the other. Sanchez was living at the resort while he did some repairs to the apartments.

Ed McMillan, a Siltcoos Resort resident, said Sanchez investigated the noise and found that the male victim was being attacked. Sanchez, who was armed with a handgun, yelled for the ax wielder to stop, then fired a warning shot that didn't hit anyone, said McMillan, who heard the shot and later talked with Sanchez.

The attacker than closed the apartment door, McMillan said.

"He (Sanchez) opened the door, and the guy was still going at it," McMillan said, "so he shot him in the back. That didn't faze him so he shot him a second time, and the guy went down."

Someone called for police and medics, and McMillan said he and Sanchez waited for them. When officers arrived, McMillan said they ordered him and Sanchez to get on the ground and handcuffed them.

They remained handcuffed for perhaps 20 minutes, McMillan said.

He and Strebendt criticized police for taking too long handcuffing and talking to people while those injured went without medical attention. Paramedics waited outside the resort until police secured the scene, which paramedic Marvin Tipler of Western Lane Ambulance Service said is standard procedure.

Tipler said it may have seemed like a long time to some, but the crew waited only six minutes before they were allowed in to treat the victims. He commended state police officers for working quickly to get things under control.

The two injured men were taken by air ambulance to Legacy Emanuel Hospital & Health Center in Portland after initial treatment at Peace Harbor. Both were listed in serious condition Tuesday night. The ax victim had fractured ribs and cuts to his upper torso; Davis had at least one gunshot wound to his chest.

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