Arrest made following Oregon bank bombing

Bomb found outside bank, was brought in and killed two police officers


An arrest was made Sunday evening in the bombing of an Oregon bank that killed two police officers and critically injured the police chief in the town of Woodburn, authorities said.

"The arrest was the result of an intensive round-the-clock investigation by an interagency task force comprised of federal, state, county, and city public safety agencies," said Marion County Sheriff Russ Isham.

The suspect was arrested in the Salem area, Isham said. No further details were immediately released.

"I'm really proud of those who tirelessly worked to get us to this point and am humbled by the community's support," Isham said.

Bill Hakim, a state police bomb-disposal technician, and Woodburn Police Capt. Tom Tennant died as a result of Friday evening's blast. Both men were 51 years old.

Woodburn Police Chief Scott Russell, 46, was critically wounded. A female bank employee also was wounded, but she was treated at a hospital and released, the state police said.

The explosion at the West Coast Bank came after the nearby Wells Fargo Bank had received a threatening telephone call earlier in the day from an unknown person, Oregon state police said.

When authorities arrived at the Wells Fargo Bank, they discovered a "suspicious object" that was determined not to be dangerous.

Further investigation led to the discovery of a suspicious device outside the West Coast Bank, State Police spokesman Lt. Gregg Hastings said. At that time, all but two employees were evacuated from the bank. It's not immediately known why the two were left in the building.

The device was taken inside the bank, where it detonated, Hastings said. He said it was not immediately clear why it had been brought inside. Bank President Bob Sznewajs said Friday that his employees told him authorities had "scanned it outside, then brought it in."

He said the two bank employees who had not been evacuated were in another part of the bank when the bomb went off. They suffered minor injuries. One may have been hit by flying debris and another was "bothered by the sound," Sznewajs said.

Woodburn Mayor Kathy Figley told reporters on Saturday that the deaths of the two law enforcement officers and the wounding of the town's police chief had left residents "shocked and saddened."

Tennant was a 28-year veteran of the police department, and Russell has served as police chief since 1999, she said. Tennant's wife is the town's recorder, or clerk.

"We are talking about people who are our friends, our neighbors," Figley said.

As federal and state agencies investigate the blast, other law enforcement agencies have stepped in to support the town and its police department, she said.

"The safety of our community is paramount, and it is in good hands," Figley said.

The Wells Fargo branch and the West Coast branch are less than 150 feet apart.

Woodburn is in the Willamette Valley, about 30 miles south of Portland.