When the driver, who had slowed down to get a description of Jones’s SUV, passed the pulled-over vehicle, a man stepped out of the passenger side and “fired multiple rounds from a handgun” at the other vehicle, police said.
Two adults and two children, ages 5 and 8, were inside the car, according to the news release. None of them suffered injuries.
The next day, police identified Jones as the driver of the SUV and the one who fired the shots. Jones, 47, was arrested and charged with one count of attempted murder and four counts of attempted assault.
He remains at the Northern Oregon Corrections facility on $100,000 bail as of Thursday, jail records show.
Rufus City Council President Scott Holliday expressed surprise about the incident.
“It’s terrible. He’s a good man. It’s crazy,” he told NBC News on Wednesday.
“Nobody understands what exactly happened, much less why. People think the world of him. He’s just a good guy. So it’s very, very grieving for something like this.”
Rufus has fewer than 300 residents, according to the most recent census. It is about 100 miles east of Portland, along the Columbia River that marks the Oregon-Washington border.
Jones was elected mayor in 2018 with 76 votes. His term ends at the end of this year; it’s not immediately clear who succeeds him.
A spokesperson with the city of Rufus declined to comment. The sheriff’s office also declined to comment further because the investigation is ongoing.