The round of calls to 9-1-1 dispatchers started coming in at 5:20 p.m. Saturday: A man was walking down Commercial Street Southeast, firing a handgun into the air, at the ground and at a bus shelter.

Eventually, a SWAT team surrounded a Southeast Salem apartment complex where the man, Erick C. Torfin, holed up for nearly five hours.

When Torfin walked out, police said they were forced to use a stun gun to subdue and take the 40-year-old man into custody.

Salem police received several reports of a man was walking down Commercial Street Southeast firing a handgun.

Police say Torfin entered a store near the intersection of Commercial and Wiltse Road, purchased beer, walked out of the store and began walking down Commercial Street firing the gun.

Police said one of the rounds hit a stop sign, but no one was injured.

A Salem police special weapons and tactics team surrounded the Gateway Village Apartments, 1900 block of Madras Street Southeast, where Torfin reportedly lived. “Witnesses followed him to the apartment and reported hearing what sounded like more gunshots coming from the apartment after he went in,” said Salem police Lt. Dave Okada.

Police evacuated several buildings in the complex and cordoned off access, establishing a wide perimeter. Negotiators reportedly contacted the man.

Okada said one of the rounds struck a nearby stop sign.

At 10:52 pm, SWAT officers shot non-lethal rounds through Torfin’s windows and urged him to either come out or talk with negotiators. Five minutes later, he walked out but refused to comply with verbal instructions, police said.

An officer shot Torfin with a Taser before taking him into custody, Okada said.

Source: Rick Bella for

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