Police: Gunman who fired shot in Subway robbery caught

SALEM, Ore. - A gunman who fired a shot into the wall next to a restaurant worker during an armed robbery Friday was arrested Monday when a patrol officer recognized the suspect from surveillance photos, the Salem Police Department said.

The case started late Friday night at a Subway sandwich shop on State Street in Salem.

The suspect walked in around 10 p.m. brandishing a gun and demanding money, police said. The robber fired the gun into th wall next to the Subway sandwich artist, grabbed some cash and left the scene on foot.

Salem police investigators distributed surveillance images of the suspect to officers in the department in an attempt to ID the suspect.

The effort paid off.

On Monday afternoon, Officer Larry Shryer spotted a man walking down the street who looked like the robber in the images, police said.

Shryer, who has been with the department since 1994, called for backup. When he realized the suspect had spotted him, however, Shryer made contact with the man and found he was carrying a loaded handgun.

Detectives interviewed the man and arrested him on charges accusing him of robbing the Subway.

The man, identified as 45-year-old James Bradley Palen of Oxnard, California, was booked on charges of Robbery in the First Degree, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, two counts of Attempted Assault in the First Degree, Felon in Possession of a Weapon, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Altering a Firearms Identification Number and Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine.