Next year’s Roaring River Canoe Slalom, which has been taking place for the place for the past eight years along the Clackamas River, is in danger of being cancelled after a mysterious drive-by shooting last weekend that almost hit a participant.

Photo Credit: PHOTO COURTESY: AMY CARLSON - A dark-gray 2010 Honda Accord shot through the back window has more than $100 in damage, scaring everyone in the Roaring River Campground.Sunday, Aug. 24, at about 2 a.m., Amy Carlson was the victim of a drive-by shooting at Roaring River Campground at mile post 41 on Highway 224. Her dark-gray 2010 Honda Accord was shot through the back window, causing more than $100 in damage but also scaring everyone in the campground.

Photo Credit: PHOTO COURTESY: AMY CARLSON - This shell from a 9mm Winchester is currently the only suspect lead police have.Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office deputies determined that Carlson’s tent was directly in line with the bullet, but her car stopped the bullet. Many of the campsites were occupied by participants who had children in the campground.

“This shooting poses a serious threat to our continuing this event in future years,” said Carl Poston, who has managed this event for seven years. “This seems like a grave public concern given that Labor Day weekend is this weekend and the campgrounds will be full.”

CCSO Sgt. Nathan Thompson said that police have analyzed the bullet casing to identify the weapon used, a 9mm Winchester, but there were no other suspect leads at the time. Responding officers found Carl David Overton, 53, camping illegally under a bridge in the area, but his Blazer ammunition didn’t match what had been used earlier. Overton, who told police he had heard the gunshots about 100 yards away, was also cited for littering near a waterway and only briefly detained during questioning.

Shared jurisdiction between CCSO and the U.S. Forest Service complicates enforcement on a patchwork of areas where it’s legal to use firearms. Of course, firing weapons recreationally is illegal near campgrounds, roads and trails.

“We get lots of complaints about people who go up there to shoot, and part of the difficulty of that is that sometimes it’s us who responds, and sometimes it’s the Forest Service,” Thompson said. “You want to make sure that you’re shooting in safe, legal areas, and that you’re aware of what’s behind wherever you’re shooting.”

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