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Grand jury indicts UPS driver in Southern Oregon freeway shootings

A Jackson County grand jury charged a Roseburg truck driver with attempted murder and assault on accusations he shot and injured a woman on the freeway near Central Point last week.

Kenneth Alan Ayers, 49, was arraigned Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court on a grand jury’s felony charges of attempted second-degree murder, second-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon surrounding two Jackson County shootings — including one that injured a motorist last week.

Oregon State Police believes that the two Jackson County shootings are believed to be tied to six other non-injury freeway shootings in Josephine and Douglas counties, according to documents filed in Jackson County Circuit Court and an earlier news report.

Two of Ayers’ alleged victims testified to the Jackson County grand jury Tuesday by video conference, according to the document filed Aug. 25 by the Jackson County District Attorney’s office.

The grand jury heard from the victim in a July 9 shooting near Gold Hill that damaged a vehicle, according to the court document, along with the woman shot Aug. 19 near Central Point.

An Oregon State Police trooper based in Grants Pass also testified about the shootings, and their alleged connection to at least eight shootings over the past three months between Central Point and Canyonville.

OSP stated in an earlier news report that they believe Ayers fired handgun at other vehicles while he was driving a UPS semitrailer between Roseburg and Medford on the dates of May 12, June 2, 15 and 22, July 7 and 9 and Aug. 19.

UPS employees are not allowed to have firearms on company premises or vehicles, UPS said in an email last week, and the company is cooperating with the criminal investigation.

Court Records in Douglas and Josephine County circuit courts show no new cases filed against Ayers, but Oregon State Police said last week that detectives are working with district attorneys in those two counties.

Ayers is still in the Jackson County jail being held without bail as of Thursday evening, jail records show.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.

Kenneth Alan Ayers faces attempted murder, assault and weapon use charges surrounding a string of Southern Oregon shootings from Central Point to Canyonville. Oregon State Police photo.