CHP Press Release
cover photo: Yreka CHP FB Page

On Saturday, March 9th, at approximately 7:21pm, the Corvallis Police Department responded to a report of a shooting at 1927 NW Highland Dr. Officers arrived and found 34-year-old Vonetta Johnson of Corvallis deceased on the kitchen floor, succumbing to an apparent gunshot wound to the head. Alongside her lay her sister, 24-year-old Ciara Page of Eugene, who sustained serious injuries to her shoulder and head from an apparent gunshot wound. Ciara Page was rushed to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center and continues to be in stable, albeit serious condition. Vonetta Johnson’s two minor children were in the residence at the time but unharmed.   

During transit to the hospital, Corvallis PD officers were able to gather crucial information from Ciara Page, identifying the suspect as Vonetta Johnson’s boyfriend, 53-year-old Jerry Bruce Mitchell Sr. of Long Beach, California. Corvallis PD was also able to identify the vehicle in which Mitchell was believed to have been travelling in (13 / White / Ford / Explorer  – OR #401MZZ). An arrest warrant was prepared by Corvallis PD and entered into LEO (law enforcement officers) databases. 

Through law enforcement efforts by Corvallis PD, Mitchell’s location was able to be broadcast to CHP units as he entered California from Oregon. CHP Yreka units were able to locate Mitchell on SB I-5 near central Yreka. An enforcement stop was initiated, however Mitchell accelerated away at a rapid speed, to elude capture from CHP. Mitchell led pursing CHP units (Yreka Area and Mt. Shasta Area) on a relatively lengthy pursuit through numerous roadways/highways throughout Siskiyou County. The pursuit was terminated on N. Old Stage Rd. in/about the city of Mt. Shasta, where Mitchell was taken into custody by CHP units.  The total approximate time of the pursuit lasted for :50 minutes and covered a span of approximately 38 miles, with speeds up to 100 MPH. 

During an inventory of the involved vehicle, CHP officers located the weapon believed to have been used in the homicide being investigated by Corvallis PD. Mitchell was subsequently booked into Siskiyou County Jail at approximately 0432 hours on 03/10/24 for numerous criminal violations to include felony evading and felon in possession of a firearm. CHP personnel assisted Corvallis PD with the preparation of a search warrant for potential evidence in the homicide which was turned over to Corvallis PD detectives on 03/11/24 

An arrest warrant for Jerry Mitchell Sr. has been filed with the Benton County (Oregon) Circuit Court for the following charges. 

· Murder in the 1st Degree ORS 163.107

· Attempted Murder in the 1st Degree ORS 164.405, Two counts 

· Unlawful Use of a Weapon ORS 166.220, Two Counts 

· Possession of Weapons by Certain Felons ORS 166.270 

This case remains open and under active investigation by the Corvallis Police Department in collaboration with partner agencies to include the Albany Police Department, Benton County Sherriff’s Office, the Benton County District Attorney’s Office, and several agencies in Northern California. Currently, no further information is available. Additional updates will be provided as the investigation progresses. 

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