The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office is investigating what they are calling a homicide at Umapine Creamery outside of Milton-Freewater. The small, quaint community of Umapine was rattled Monday morning, around 6:38am, when law enforcement officials were alerted of the possible incident.
According to the creamery’s owner, Brent Carroll, the incident was the result of an ongoing dispute between two employees that boiled over Monday morning. One employee, armed with a firearm, exited the creamery’s milking parlor and shot 35-year-old Renee Luiz-Antonio of Milton-Freewater, who was operating a tractor. According to Carroll, the incident was captured on the facility’s security cameras.
“We have leads on the case, and are following up with our investigation. This appears to be the result of a lengthy dispute between Mr Luiz[-Antonio] and another employee who was working at the dairy,” Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan said in a prepared statement. “We are not at liberty to identify the other employee at this time,” Sheriff Rowan added.
In addition to Umatilla County Sheriff’s detectives, the investigation was aided by Umatilla County District Attorney Dan Primus, the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office, Walla Walla Police Department, Milton-Freewater Police Department, the Oregon State Police Crime Lab, Hermiston Police Department and the College Place Police Department. An autopsy of Luiz-Antonio’s body has been scheduled with the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s office for Tuesday, November 27th.
The East Oregonian reported that District Attorney Dan Primus, was physically present on the scene of the incident, to aid investigators in the event they needed to obtain a search warrant. He also told the E.O. that it enabled him to obtain first-hand information, should he need to present the case to a jury.
This is the third firearms related incident in Milton-Freewater this month. On November 13th, gun shots sent a Milton-Freewater school into lock-down. A man admitted to discharging his firearm in his lawn across from the school and was arrested after he reportedly assaulted a police officer who was investigating. Another man was arrested in the early morning hours of November 15th after he reportedly broke into one woman’s home and then terrorized a community with multiple firearms.
NOTE: This article has been updated to include details from a prepared press statement from Umatilla County Undersheriff Jim Littlefield. Those details include the precise time of the call, the identity of the victim and a statement from the Sheriff.