The information provided to dispatch was relayed to officers at 5:46 p.m. Initial officers arrived on scene less than a minute later. A perimeter was quickly established by Pendleton Police Officers, Umatilla County Sheriff’s Deputies and Oregon State Police Troopers. Upon entry, officers believed they heard sounds consistent with someone being on the second level of the three level building. Fearing that sufficient resource were not available to view all potential escape routes, officers swept the building for civilians before backing out, bolstering the number of law enforcement personnel surrounding the building and formulating apprehension operation plans.
Shortly after 8:00 p.m., officers were preparing to enter the convention center in support of a Umatilla County Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit when an Oregon State Trooper assigned to a perimeter post reported seeing a leg hanging down from the second floor ceiling. The K-9 unit and support officers rapidly descended on the described location where they found the person known as Wu hiding in the ceiling in an area approximately two feet by ten feet alongside HVAC ductwork. The person known as Wu was taken into custody without incident at 8:17 p.m.
The person known as Wu was later identified as 23-year old Lukah Pobzeb Chang. It was also determined that Chang had been hiding in the Pendleton Convention Center for at least a week.
Chang was lodged in the Umatilla County Jail for one count of attempted murder for the brutal attack on 53-year old Pendleton resident Karen Lange on August 9, 2013, and one count of murder for the stabbing death of 19-year old Pendleton resident AmyJane Brandhagen on August 14, 2012.
The arrest of Chang is the culmination of a yearlong investigation, which involved a number of dedicated law enforcement personnel. Most notably, forensic scientists and a crime analyst employed by the Oregon State Police. Although much information has been disclosed concerning the efforts of law enforcement, the catalyst to Chang’s arrest was the quick/appropriate response of Pendleton citizens who reported seeing Chang in the convention center kitchen.
Pendleton Police personnel have responded to over 100 sightings of Chang in the last two weeks, none of which proved to be him. However, complacency was not an option. Officers maintain due diligence, because of how little was known about Chang or his whereabouts. Every report received was investigated as if it was the break the Pendleton Police Department had been seeking for over a year.