At 3:57 a.m., March 13, an officer performed a person stop on two suspicious males at 15th and Pearl Alley. One suspect fled and the officer pursued on foot. Another officer arrived on scene to find the second suspect stealing the first officer’s patrol vehicle. Shots were fired by the second officer. The stolen patrol vehicle was located a short time later unoccupied at 15th and High Street. A Springfield K9 search located the suspect and he was taken into custody after a brief struggle. Both suspects have been detained and are no longer a threat to the neighborhood. No individuals to include the public, involved officers or the suspects were injured in this incident.
The roadways are closed at 14th and Pearl and 16th and High Street. Travelers are asked to avoid the area. The closure is estimated to last until at least mid-morning.
The Lane County Interagency Deadly Force Investigation Team is on scene and has jurisdiction in this case.
The use of deadly physical force by law enforcement personnel is a matter of critical concern both to the public and to the law enforcement community. The Lane County Deadly Force Plan provides “a framework for a consistent response to an officer’s use of deadly physical force that treats the law enforcement officer fairly, and promotes public confidence in the criminal justice system.”
In Oregon, deadly use of force incidents are conducted by investigators who are independent of the involved agency. This is provided for under Senate Bill 111, which was passed by the 2007 Oregon Legislature. Lane County adopted guidelines under this law in 2008, as did the City of Eugene. Since that time, each and every deadly use of force with Eugene Police Department involvement has been handled by representatives of other law enforcement agencies under IDFIT and referred to the Lane County District Attorney’s Office. This guarantees a separation from the involved agency and greater transparency. The Lane County District Attorney receives and reviews the IDFIT’s findings to determine if there were any crimes committed during the incident and response.
Until the conclusion of the IDFIT investigation and review of findings by the LCDA, we will be honoring the process by referring media questions to the DA’s Office.