Police have released the names of the two Gresham men who were shot in an apparent road rage incident on Highway 26 in the Zig Zag area Monday night, and are asking the public’s help in finding the man responsible. One victim remains hospitalized in serious condition, and the other has been treated and released.
Oregon State Police (OSP) said Joseph Langley, 33, was driving home from a snowboarding outing near Government Camp about 10 p.m., December 10. Passengers in his van included Joshua Gehrke, 32, Gehrke’s nine-year-old son, and his son’s friend, also nine.
As Langley approached Rhododendron traveling west on Highway 26, a car reportedly began following the van too closely and failed to pass even in a four-lane section of highway.
Troopers said Langley pulled onto the highway shoulder near Lolo Pass Road to allow the car to pass, but instead the car stopped behind the van. The two Gresham men got out and started to approach the car, and a “short verbal exchange” between them and the suspect ensued, followed shortly thereafter by gunshots.
Both men were hit, OSP said, and they ran back to the van and were able to drive a short distance westbound, but stopped on the shoulder at the Lolo Pass Road intersection. The victims called 911 as the shooter drove away, possibly in a westerly direction.
Langley was transported by ambulance to Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) where he was treated for his injuries and released. Gehrke was initially taken by ambulance to Welches Middle School, then was transferred to a LifeFlight Helicopter and flown to OHSU, where he remains in serious condition.
The boys were uninjured, troopers said.
The suspect is described as a white male in his 30s wearing a baseball cap. The suspect’s vehicle is only described as a passenger car.
The investigation is continuing, troopers said, asking anyone with information to contact OSP Northern Command Center dispatch at (800) 452-7888. “Tips from the public will be important in helping solve this case,” OSP stated in a news release.