The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office and a team from the Oregon State Police crime lab is investigating a homicide at the Umapine Creamery west of Umapine.
According to Brent Carroll, the owner of the agricultural business on Umapine Road, the killing was the result of a dispute between two employees.
The two men had been at odds with one another, Carroll said, and it came to a head early Monday.
“He just walked out of the milking parlor and shot him on the tractor,” he said.
Carroll also said security cameras captured the shooting.
Sheriff Terry Rowan said the dispatch center received the report at about 6:30 a.m. today and deputies responded in the foggy, sub-freezing morning. He confirmed the cause of death was “apparent gunshot wounds” but declined to identify the victim as his office tried to contact family members. He also initially declined to identify a suspect and he said he wasn’t sure if there were any witnesses.
Umatilla County District Attorney Dan Primus also was at the scene. Primus or one of his deputies respond in person to homicide scenes. He said he was there in case the investigation required a search warrant or to answer questions about evidence gathering. Primus also said it helps to have a first-hand account if he needs to present the case to a jury.
Rowan said there are nine people working the investigation, including officers from Hermiston, Milton-Freewater and Walla Walla to help with translation.
Umapine is about 9 miles northwest of Milton-Freewater in the northeastern corner of Umatilla County.
This is a breaking news story, and East Oregonian will update as we gather more information.