DEPOE BAY — Deputies and state police officers swarmed a Hwy. 101 business and handcuffed some occupants after eyewitnesses said a gun-wielding man fired a BB-style handgun at them Friday morning.
Triggering the 8:15 a.m. incident was an apparent dispute over noise from new car speakers being demonstrated by a construction worker to his fellow employees at a shop located 50 feet north of City Hall on Southeast Shell Avenue. They reported the assailant fired his weapon at employees of ATB Construction and their vehicles, shattering several car windows and peppering the building with shot. Two workers barricaded themselves in the shop while others scattered in their vehicles. No one was injured.
One worker who sped in his truck to a nearby gas station to call police said he heard gunfire as he left the scene.
“That was more than BBs,” he remarked. “That had gunpowder behind it.”
At least eight officers arrived about 20 to 30 minutes later. “I told them they needed to get here faster,” remarked one of the 9-1-1 callers.
Witnesses said police parked at the Shell station and approached by foot before surrounding a business known as the ‘Burlwood Factory’ on Hwy. 101. Witnesses said at least three people were removed in handcuffs, including two males and a female.
Deputies and a state trooper were still on the scene collecting evidence at noon. Shell Ave. remained blocked to vehicles and foot traffic. LCSO Deputy Derek Etheridge said the busy street that leads to the park and public boat ramp would soon be reopened, however.
“We just want to make it clear that City Hall was not involved,” he stated, saying early social media speculation was inaccurate. “There is no threat to public safety.”
A news release was issued at 8:03 p.m. March 26, from LCSO:
Upon further investigation the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office learned the shooting incident involved two residents at 482 SE Hwy 101 in Depoe Bay. Aiden Isaac Dempsey, age 24, and Andrew Keith Hodge, age 28, became upset at a neighboring business who was reportedly playing loud music. The investigation determined Aiden Dempsey fired over a dozen rounds from a CO2 powered BB-Gun and Andrew Hodge fired a single round from a large-caliber handgun in apparent attempts to get the music to stop. At least three citizens at the neighboring business were placed in danger by the projectiles fired. No citizens were injured, however two windows were damaged on two separate vehicles. Additional property damage was documented in excess of $3000. Two BB-guns and one handgun was seized during this investigation.
Dempsey and Hodge were taken into custody and transported the Lincoln County Jail. They were lodged on various charges, to include, Unlawful Use of Weapon, Menacing, Reckless Endangering and Disorderly Conduct.
Aiden Dempsey’s bail was placed at $155,000.00
Andrew Hodge’s bail was placed at $300,000.00