It only took Oen Evan Nicholson minutes to kill two people in a coastal city in Oregon on Friday morning, authorities said.
Although police in the small community of North Bend weren’t far behind him, the next time they heard about Nicholson’s definitive whereabouts was 48 hours later, police said during public statements this week.
The triple-homicide suspect — whose alleged victims included his father — had quietly turned himself in on Sunday to police in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a city more than 2,000 miles away.
After Nicholson killed three people in Oregon, police there said, the 30-year-old forced a woman to drive him to the Midwestern state and then lived to tell about it.
“There is always a sigh of relief when your suspect is in custody,” North Bend Police Chief Robert Kappelman said Sunday during a news conference.
Police in Springfield, Oregon, a city about 110 miles northeast of North Bend, said Nicholson had approached Laura Johnson on Friday during her lunch break in her work’s parking lot and forced her to take him to Wisconsin at the tail end of his lawless spree.
Nicholson forced Laura to drive him north, Springfield police said. They continued all the way to Milwaukee, where Nicholson was arrested without incident. Laura is safe and unharmed and on her way back to Oregon, police said.
Formal charges for this case are pending. Nicholson is being held in Wisconsin on fugitive warrants from Oregon, police said.
KEZI in Eugene, Oregon, reported that Johnson’s father, Dennis Johnson, said his daughter was abducted at gunpoint and drove Nicholson more than 30 hours, managing to get in his ear during the long and harrowing car ride.
"She was able to talk him into turning himself in," Johnson told KEZI.
Laura Johnson, 34, declined comment Tuesday. Police in Oregon and Milwaukee did not respond to requests for comment.
Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier said during public statements Friday that authorities began receiving 911 calls shortly before 10 a.m. about an elderly couple that was run over by pickup at the RV campground of The Mill Casino.
While behind the wheel of his father’s 2019 Dodge pickup, Nicholson, Frasier said, struck a married couple from Florida — Anthony Oyster, 74, who was killed, and Linda Oyster, 73, who was critically injured. Oyster’s condition Tuesday was unknown.
Only minutes later, Frasier said, Nicholson was at a marijuana dispensary about a mile north of the RV campground and authorities were fielding calls of a shooting. Jennifer L. Davidson, 47, was killed in the shooting, Frasier said.
Nicholson is also suspected in his father’s slaying. Charles Simms Nicholson, 83, was found dead in a trailer on the grounds of the RV’s campground, Frasier said.
Nicholson has been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree assault and failing to help an injured person during a traffic accident.
Frasier said Nicholson is believed to have ditched his father’s pickup after the shooting at the dispensary. Authorities found the truck on a highway between the city of Eugene and Florence, Frasier said.
“It was found crashed and had been set on fire,” Frasier said. “We have a witness that indicates that the person driving this pickup truck got out of the truck, appeared to be armed with a handgun, and then disappeared or ran into the woods or the brush nearby.”
Frasier said Sunday that authorities will attempt to quickly extradite Nicholson to Oregon. Nicholson was believed to have lived in North Bend since October, Frasier said.
North Bend Mayor Jessica Engelke said this week that Nicholson’s alleged violent rampage was tragic and difficult to fathom.
“Words fall short of describing the tragedy that took place on Friday and ensuing events,” Engelke said. “We are all left incredibly shaken. This is something that you hope never happens in your community, in the town that you call home.”