A police chase on Highway 97 between Bend and Redmond Sunday night was related to a homicide investigation in Crook County earlier in the day.
The following is a press release from the Crook County Sheriff’s Office on the investigation. Central Oregon Daily News is working to get more information and talk to people in the area who may have seen or heard something.
On Sunday May 7, 2023 at approximately 2:56 pm the Crook County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call stating that a male subject, who was later identified as Russell Vortuba, called the reporting party and stated that he (Vortuba) had killed the victim, Christopher Hoffman. When the deputies arrived at the residence they found the doors to the residence were open. Deputies located the victim deceased inside the residence. The deceased has been identified as Christopher Hoffman. No one else was located at the residence. The early investigation revealed that the suspect, Russell, had left the residence in a black 2021 BMW vehicle owned by the victim.
A short time later the vehicle was located in Deschutes County by law enforcement. When deputies attempted to stop the vehicle the driver, Vortuba, did not stop and led the law enforcement on a pursuit north on Hwy 97. Deschutes County law enforcement officers were able to stop the vehicle near Hwy 97 and Yew Ave. in Redmond. During the contact with the driver of the vehicle it was reported that shots were fired. The investigation determined Vortuba shot himself when the pursuit ended. Deschutes County law enforcement performed life saving measures and assisted in the transport of the driver to St. Charles hospital. Vortuba has been released from the hospital and is currently lodged in the Crook County Jail.
The major crime team was called out to assist in the investigation. I would like to thank the Oregon State Police, Redmond Police, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Prineville Police, Bend Police, Crook County Fire and Rescue, Redmond Fire and Rescue, and the Crook County District Attorney’s Office for assistance on this complex case.
The investigation is still ongoing.
If any members of the public had contact with Vortuba or Christopher Hoffman between May 5, 2023 and May 7, 2023, please contact the Crook County Sheriff’s Office.
No other information is available at this time.
Christopher Hoffman age 41 from Powell Butte, Oregon
Russell Vortuba age 42 from Newport, Oregon
This is a Breaking News update. The previous story is below:
A suspect ended up in the hospital Sunday after a sheriff’s office pursuit on Highway 97 between Bend and Redmond. The pursuit led to a long backup on 97 and several people stuck in it recorded video of the chase.
The pursuit of a black BMW SUV started in north Bend. It’s not immediately known what triggered the pursuit.
A person posted video on the Central Oregon Daily News Facebook page of the chase. You can see the BMW drive off the road and into the median with several police vehicles following it. The person who posted the silent video said he could hear about 10 gunshots afterward.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office said the SUV was stopped near the Yew Avenue exit in Redmond. DCSO said it was stopped using the Pursuit Immobilization Technique (PIT) maneuver.
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Central Oregon Daily News has received reports of gun fire during the rundown, but this has not been confirmed by police.
The unnamed suspect was taken to St. Charles Hospital for evaluation.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that it was referring future updates to the Crook County Sheriff’s Office.