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MailTribune.com
  • Police standoff on coast turns deadly

    One Montana armed robbery suspect is hit by patrol car; second suspect kills herself
  • LINCOLN CITY — A patrol car hit and injured a man and a woman later fatally shot herself during a police standoff as Oregon authorities closed in on the two accused of robbing a Montana coin shop.
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  • LINCOLN CITY — A patrol car hit and injured a man and a woman later fatally shot herself during a police standoff as Oregon authorities closed in on the two accused of robbing a Montana coin shop.
    Sarah Jo Johnson died shortly before 9 p.m. Friday, Lincoln City Police Chief Keith Kilian said. She had been holed up in a vehicle with a handgun for hours, surrounded by the Oregon State Police SWAT team and officers from multiple agencies.
    The chief said Dale Edward Wallace, the man hit by a police car earlier Friday, was flown to a Portland hospital for treatment. Kilian said they are believed to be from the Butte, Mont., area. Their relationship wasn't clear.
    In Montana earlier this week, warrants had been issued for Wallace and Johnson, both 30, Butte-Silver Bow County Sheriff Ed Lester said.
    Lester said the two were suspected of pointing a large-caliber handgun at the owner of Coins N Cards in Butte on Monday, tying him up and stealing five guns, cash and collectible coins.
    The shop owner, who is in his 70s, was able to get out of his restraints and call for help.
    The FBI alerted Lincoln City police that the pair might be in town with a stolen Nissan Altima.
    At 2 p.m. Friday, the black car was found at a vacation condominium.
    Detectives kept watch and sought help from the SWAT team.
    Wallace and Johnson left the condominium about two hours later, the chief said. Officers followed the car until it left Highway 101 and entered a parking lot.
    During the ensuing stop, Wallace ran from the vehicle holding a gun. He was pointing it at officers when a state trooper struck him with his patrol car. The police chief described Wallace's injuries as serious.
    Police negotiated with Johnson for four hours before she killed herself, Kilian said.
    A community center and some businesses were locked down during the standoff in the coastal city.
    "We appreciate the patience and understanding of our citizens during this tense and potentially volatile event as it unfolded in our community," Kilian said in a statement.
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