Two arrested, one suspect at large after car chase involving gunfire in Island City

·3 min read

Jul. 18—ISLAND CITY — Law enforcement arrested two people and one suspect remains at large after a car chase Sunday, July 17, out of Island City that involved gunfire.

Deputies from the Union County Sheriff's Office responded around 12:45 p.m. to Bullseye Muzzleloaders and More, 10201 W. First St., Island City, for a reported burglary, according to a press release. Law enforcement was called again to the same business shortly before 2:30 p.m. with reports describing three people wearing gloves and masks approaching the business, the release said.

While law enforcement was on its way to the scene, a Bullseye Muzzleloaders and More employee confronted the suspects. During the confrontation, shots were fired, the release said. The suspects fled in a vehicle, and sheriff's deputies immediately began a pursuit. During the course of the pursuit, occupants in the fleeing vehicle fired rounds at the pursuing law enforcement vehicles, disabling one.

An Oregon State Police trooper was set up for a spike strip deployment, and after learning of the active shooting situation, fired his weapon at the suspects and their vehicle as they came by his location. Troopers were able to successfully spike the vehicle, which ultimately came to a stop on Indian Creek Road near Rinehart Lane outside Elgin.

Three suspects fled from the vehicle into the dense brush and vegetation. As a result, additional law enforcement was called to the scene and a perimeter was set up.

The Northeast Oregon Regional SWAT Team and the Oregon State Police SWAT Team responded to the area and ultimately located and arrested two suspects in the late evening hours.

Ashtin Romine, 26, of Clarkston, Washington, and Jessica Spalinger, 31, of Walla Walla, Washington, were booked early July 18 into the Union County Jail.

Romine was arrested for reckless endangering and for misdemeanor and felony fleeing, while Spalinger is in jail for first-degree assault, hit-and-run with injury, recklessly endangering and misdemeanor fleeing from police.

Under Oregon Measure 11, Oregon's mandatory minimum sentencing law, first-degree assault carries a mandatory minimum sentencing of seven years and six months.

The unidentified third suspect remains at large as of 1 p.m. July 18. The Union County Sheriff's Office, the La Grande Police Department and Oregon State Police continue to investigate the initial burglary as well as the officer involved shooting and more charges and arrests are anticipated.

The La Grande Police Department — at the request of the Oregon State Police and in compliance with the Union County Deadly Force Plan — will conduct the officer involved shooting investigation. The OSP trooper involved in the shooting was placed on administrative leave per department policy pending the outcome of the investigation.

Law enforcement was assisted on the scene by members of the La Grande Fire Department, Imbler Quick Response and the Union County Office of Emergency Management.

Isabella Crowley is a reporter for The Observer. Contact her at {span}541-624-6014 or{/span} icrowley@lagrandeobserver.com.