Bend▶️ Deputies: Crook Co. homicide leads to Bend-to-Redmond Highway 97 chase

▶️ Deputies: Crook Co. homicide leads to Bend-to-Redmond Highway 97 chase

▶️ Deputies: Crook Co. homicide leads to Bend-to-Redmond Highway 97 chase

Deschutes County Sheriff Truck

A police chase on Highway 97 between Bend and Redmond Sunday night was related to a homicide investigation in the Powell Butte area earlier in the day. The sheriff’s office said the suspect was taken to the hospital after a self-inflicted gunshot.

The Crook County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that the investigation began at about 2:56 p.m. Sunday with a 911 call. The caller, who the sheriff’s office identified as Russell Vortuba, 42, allegedly claimed he had killed the victim, identified as Christopher Hoffman, 41.

Deputies arrived at the residence to find the doors were open, the sheriff’s office said, and Hoffman was found deceased inside. Nobody else was home.

The sheriff’s office said Vortuba, who is from Newport, had driven away in Hoffman’s black 2021 BMW.

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Sometime later, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) spotted the BMW and tried to stop it, Crook County said. That led to a chase up Highway 97 between the north end of Bend and Redmond. Deputies finally stopped the vehicle new Yew Avenue on the south end of Redmond using what DCSO said was the Pursuit Immobilization Technique (PIT) maneuver.

Crook County said deputies made contact with Vortuba and that there were reports of shots fired. The sheriff’s office said it was determined Vortuba shot himself after the chase ended.

The suspect was taken to St. Charles Hospital and later released to be booked into the Crook County Jail.

A possible motive for the homicide was not released.

The sheriff’s office is asking that anyone who had contact with Vortuba or Hoffman between Friday, May 5, and Sunday, May 7, to contact the Crook County Sheriff’s Office.

A person posted video on the Central Oregon Daily News Facebook page of the chase. You can see the BMW drive off the road new Yew Avenue. with several police vehicles following it. The person who posted the silent video said he could hear about 10 gunshots afterward.
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