Former UPS Truck Driver Pleads Guilty on 15 Counts in String of Interstate Shootings
Jackson County, OR – A former UPS truck driver has pleaded guilty to a slew of charges in connection to a string of shootings on Interstate 5 last year.
On Tuesday, 49-year-old Kenneth Ayers, of Roseburg, entered guilty pleas on 15 counts, the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office said.
Specifically, Ayers pleaded guilty on three counts of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, five counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, two counts of Criminal Mischief in the First Degree, three counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person, and two counts of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree.
A grand jury indicted Ayers on a total of 34 criminal counts in December of last year.
The charges stem from a more than three-month long investigation by Oregon State Police (OSP) into a series of shootings along I-5 beginning in May.
OSP said its investigation into the incidents spanned three counties – Jackson, Josephine and Douglass – and culminated on August 20 with the arrest of Ayers.
He was arrested specifically in connection with an August 19 shooting on I-5 in which a female was shot while driving near milepost 37.
The victim was treated at a nearby hospital for non-life threatening injuries and later released.
Further, in the course of OSP’s investigation into that incident, Troopers were able to locate and stop a UPS tractor-trailer believed to be involved.
Ayers was identified at that time as the driver.
OSP seized the truck and a search warrant was executed in which investigators found a “firearm consistent with the type used” in the shooting.
Upon further investigation, Ayers was determined to also be the shooter in a half dozen additional incidents in which multiple vehicles were struck including at least one big rig.
Following news of the arrest, UPS said it was “appalled” and that it prohibits firearms in all of its vehicles and at each of its facilities.
Ayers nor investigators have indicated a motive for the shootings.
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for March 2 at 11 a.m.