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Murder Investigation and Search Closes N. Oregon Coast Park for a Time Saturday

Published 06/28/21 at 6:5 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Murder Investigation and Search Closes N. Oregon Coast Park for a Time Saturday

(Pacific City, Oregon) – On an extremely busy day for tourism, Sand Lake Recreation Area on the north Oregon coast was closed part of the day because of a murder investigation. The Tillamook County Sheriff's Office (TCSO) and Tillamook City Police (TPD) were on scene collecting evidence while other law enforcement in the area searched for the accused teen suspect, resulting in a brief warning to residents. (Crime scene photos courtesy Tillamook County Sheriff's Office)

According to the sheriff's office, Tillamook 911 received a call at 3:34 a.m. from the Sand Lake Recreation Area near Pacific City that a shooting had occurred. First responders arrived to find a 30-year-old male who was unconscious, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. While a Lifeflight helicopter also responded the man died at the scene.

His name has not been released at the request of family.

The suspect was quickly identified as 18-year-old Brandon Jose Zavala-Satalich, 18, of Troutdale, who had fled the scene just prior to the arrival of law enforcement. Zavala-Satalich was armed with a gun, according to the sheriff's office, and had left on foot with a female juvenile.


Brandon Jose Zavala-Satalich

This lead to a major manhunt by various law agencies for the next several hours, starting with the Tillamook County Major Crimes Team. Also called in to assist were the Oregon State Police, Manzanita Police, and K9 tracking units from Lincoln County and Hillsboro.

Three hours after the crime was reported, Zavala-Satalich was spotted again in the Sand Lake area.

“At 5:28 am, TCSO Sand Lake Deputy Tom Mayne saw the suspect crossing Galloway Rd.,” said TCSO Undersheriff Matt Kelly. “A containment perimeter was set up and searches for the suspect were underway as TCSO detectives began their homicide investigation. The female juvenile that fled with the suspect was located quickly and unharmed.”

However, Zavala-Satalich escaped.

At approximately 11:20 a.m., Zavala-Satalich was captured by the K9 unit from Lincoln County along with other area deputies, found hiding in an area not far from Galloway Road where he was spotted around 5 a.m. The teen was transported to the Tillamook County Jail and booked on charges of Murder in the Second Degree and eight counts of Recklessly Endangering another person.

The female juvenile accompanying Zavala-Satalich was eventually charged as well, facing charges of Criminal Conspiracy, Hindering Prosecution, Tampering with Evidence, and Interfering with a Police Officer. She was taken into custody by the Tillamook County Juvenile Department.

TCSO said the investigation is ongoing. No motive in the shooting was released.

During the park closure, those still in the Sand Lake area were allowed to leave but not to re-enter until it had reopened.

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