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Ore. man’s rampage leaves dad, 2 pedestrians dead

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  • This July 2014 photo provided by the Lane County Jail shows Michael J. Bryant

PORTLAND, Ore. » An Oregon man attacked his parents before torching the home they all shared, stealing their SUV and intentionally running down pedestrians in a rampage that left three people dead, authorities said.

Michael J. Bryant, 31, of Springfield, was arrested Sunday in Eugene after a short pursuit and charged with murder, attempted murder and other crimes in the deaths of his father and two pedestrians, Springfield police Sgt. David Lewis said. Bryant does not yet have an attorney to speak on his behalf.

The chain of events started Sunday afternoon when police responded to a report of an assault at the Springfield home where the unemployed Bryant lived with his parents. They found Bryant’s seriously injured mother, Elizabeth Bryant, 62, outside the burning house.

She told police that she and her husband, Jefferson Bryant, 64, had been assaulted by their son, and he stole their SUV. Elizabeth Bryant was taken to a hospital and is expected to survive.

After the fire was extinguished, officers found the father’s body and two dead dogs. Authorities are waiting to release how Jefferson Bryant died until after an autopsy, but Lewis said it was not from gunfire.

Police then learned that the stolen SUV was suspected of striking and killing a pedestrian, Richard Bates, 58, in a Springfield parking lot. Twenty minutes later, Eugene police responded to a report that a couple had been run down in a crosswalk by the same SUV.

Marc Sanford, 49, died in the crash, and his wife, Lorre Sanford, 48, was taken to a hospital. She was still in critical condition Monday but is expected to live, Lewis said.

Investigators so far believe that "all of the injuries to all of the victims were intentional acts," Lewis said.

The sergeant said he would not release details about a statement Bryant gave to detectives.

"It was a situation that sounded like it had been brewing for a couple weeks," he said.

The suspect was caught after a police car struck the SUV, and a stun gun was used to subdue him, Cynthia Dodds, a restaurant manager who witnessed the arrest, told The Register-Guard.

Bryant also has been charged with aggravated animal abuse and attempt to elude by vehicle. His arraignment was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.


This story has been corrected to clarify that the woman is Michael Bryant’s mother.

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