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Idaho State News

Police Seeking Suspect in Fatal Shooting of On-Duty Nyssa Police Officer

NYSSA, Ore. – Police are looking for Rene Castro, who is wanted in connection to a fatal shooting of an on-duty police officer on Saturday.

On April 15, 2023, at approximately 8:20 p.m., Nyssa Police Department Reserve Officer Joseph Johnson (43) was dispatched to a call of concern regarding a violent individual damaging property and threatening others near a residence in Nyssa.

In the process of responding, Officer Johnson learned the suspect (Rene Castro, pictured below) had fled in a vehicle and began a pursuit through the city. When it appeared, the vehicle was stopping at the residence at the corner of Locust and 3rd Street N., Officer Johnson pulled off the road as well. Immediately upon making the stop, an armed subject (believed to be Castro) began shooting at Officer Johnson. There was no time to return fire before Officer Johnson was fatally hit. Castro fled the scene immediately. EMTs were on scene in record time, with the Malheur County Sheriff’s Department right behind, but Officer Johnson was already deceased. An Oregon State Trooper arrived soon after and assisted the Sheriff’s Deputy in setting up a perimeter and questioning possible witnesses.

The Oregon State Police are heading the investigation, with help from the Malheur County Sheriff, Ontario Police, and pretty much every police agency from various departments in Idaho all the way to La Grande, including Federal authorities.

All available authorities continue to search for Rene Castro (36) of Nyssa. If anyone has any information about his possible location, please call Malheur County Dispatch at 541-473-5125.

Rene Castro is wanted in connection to the fatal shooting of an on-duty Nyssa police officer on Saturday, April 15.

The appreciation, love, and concern of all citizens of Malheur County go out to the family of Officer Johnson. The Fallen