UPS Driver Arrested for Seven Shootings Along Interstate 5

State police in Oregon have arrested a UPS driver who is alleged to have repeatedly fired a gun at cars along Interstate 5 from his work truck.

Kenneth Ayers
Interstate 5 shooting suspect Kenneth Ayers is shown in this booking photo from the Jackson County Sheriff's Office. Jackson County Sheriff's Office

Kenneth Ayers, 49, of Roseburg, Oregon, was arrested Thursday at around 11 p.m., after allegedly shooting at least seven cars and injuring one person along I-5 in the southern part of the state over the past three months. He was placed in Jackson County Jail on charges of attempted murder, assault, unlawful use of a weapon, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment of another person.

"Oregon State Troopers have been diligently investigating these shootings since May 12th, and recently received information and believe that a UPS truck could be involved," Captain Tim Fox of the Oregon State Police said in a statement obtained by Newsweek. "Immediately following the August 19 shooting Troopers were able to locate a UPS Tractor trailer combination approximately 1 hour and 60 miles north of the shooting incident."

"Through the subsequent investigation the truck was seized – UPS arranged for another truck to pick up the trailers – and a search warrant was applied for and served," Fox added. "The search of the truck revealed a firearm consistent with the type used."

The shootings are believed to have started shortly after Ayers' route was changed to cover areas located further to the south of the state, while his previous route covered areas north of Roseburg. He is suspected of shootings in Jackson, Josephine and Douglas counties.

"Previous to May Mr. Ayers route was north of Roseburg and beginning in May his route took him south of Roseburg," Fox said. "Ayers route also took him on Hwy 140 and Hwy 62."

Ayers allegedly fired his weapon, possibly a .45 caliber handgun, out of the cab of his UPS truck while actively driving on the highway, according to KDRV. Police are also investigating whether he is involved in an additional shooting that took place away from I-5.

UPS logo on truck
A UPS logo is pictured on the side of a delivery truck in New York City on April 29, 2020. Stephanie Keith/Getty

Police have not yet determined a possible motive for the series of shootings. The first related injury occurred on Wednesday, when a woman was shot on the highway and treated at a local hospital before being released.

"We are appalled to hear about these allegations and are fully cooperating with the responding authorities," UPS said in a statement. "Firearms are prohibited at UPS facilities and in our vehicles, and we are extremely concerned for the other motorists and individuals affected. We'll defer further comment to the investigating authorities."

Authorities are continuing to investigate the known shootings and have asked members of the public to report any additional shootings that could be connected. Ayers remains in jail, with his bail having been set at $1 million.

Update 8/21, 11:17 p.m.: This article has been updated to include a statement sent to Newsweek by Oregon State Police.