An Oregon State Police trooper and a Columbia County deputy shot and killed a bull Sunday evening after driving upon a scene in a field along Highway 30 between Warren and St. Helens and saw the bull attacking a man. After the attack, Homero Cortez Ortega, age 38, from St. Helens, was transported by LifeFlight to Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) with serious abdominal injuries.
On June 27, at approximately 6:12 p.m. OSP Trooper Justin Oxenrider was patrolling along Highway 30 near milepost 27 when he was flagged over by some people reporting a bull attacking a man in a nearby field at farm located at 35000 block of Millard Road. The farm property is on the east side of the highway.
Oxenrider was about 80 yards away from the fenced property and saw a man laying on the ground with a large bull standing over him. Oxenrider grabbed his patrol shotgun, and with Columbia County Deputy Dave Peabody who arrived on scene armed with an AR-15 rifle, the two officers ran to the fence line about 40 yards from the injured man.
As the officers were developing a plan to get the bull away from the injured man, the bull suddenly lifted the man off the ground and tossed him about 10 – 15 feet into the air. Using their weapons, Oxenrider and Peabody shot the bull several times causing it to move away from the man.
The man remained motionless on the ground with open stomach wounds. Reserve Deputy Greg Brody, who is a full time area firefighter, arrived on scene and provided initial emergency medical care while Oxenrider, Peabody, and a passing citizen named Paul Erickson from St. Helens who stopped to help, shot and subsequently killed the bull.
Ortega, who reportedly works at the farm, was transported by LifeFlight to Oregon Health Sciences University for treatment of serious injuries. He is in serious condition.
Highway 30 was briefly closed as emergency responders arrived. The highway was re-opened to one lane in both directions until emergency responders cleared the scene.
OSP and Columbia County Sheriff’s office were also helped at the scene by St. Helens Police Department and Columbia River Fire & Rescue.