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Fugitive caught
Sunset Point - Pete Geesling closer.jpg
Armed with an AR-15 semiautomatic, TWRA officer Pete Geesling blocks traffic Saturday morning on Sunset Point Road to ensure motorists stay away from the gunman.

A man who reportedly pointed a rifle at law enforcement officers on Saturday morning managed to elude custody for much of the day before being captured Saturday afternoon.

Officers were actively looking for Samuel Kyle Tanner, 23, of McMinnville, when he was spotted walking in the Mt. Leo area Saturday around 3 p.m. and taken into custody following a brief foot chase.

According to McMinnville Police Chief Bryan Denton, the incident began Saturday morning on Bridge Street, a road near Beersheba Street Bridge in the Mt. Leo area. Tanner reportedly showed up on the porch of a home there with a rifle in his hand. The alarmed homeowner, a relative of Tanner's, refused to open the door and called 911. Tanner left the scene before officers arrived.

Tanner was spotted by officers a short distance away on Sunset Point Road, a rural road on the edge of McMinnville city limits. It was at that point he reportedly pointed the rifle at officers before fleeing on a four-wheeler.

Denton said the four-wheeler had been reportedly stolen.

Law enforcement officers from all local agencies converged on the scene to set up a perimeter in hopes of keeping Tanner contained. Denton says a special tracking dog from Putnam County was brought to the scene.

The four-wheeler was located behind a home on Sunset Point Road, leading officers to believe Tanner may be hiding inside. SWAT team members barreled their way into the home but found no evidence of Tanner inside.

It was right at 3 p.m. when a passing motorist noticed a suspicious man walking in the Mt. Leo area with a backpack and a description matching Tanner's.

Believing he might run, several officers were quick to arrive in the area and Tanner was taken in custody quickly.