August 30, 2013
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247
Photograph of John Van Allen II link valid at least 30 days
The investigation into Thursday afternoon's Oregon State Police (OSP) trooper-involved shooting during a traffic stop along Interstate 84 east of Biggs Junction in Sherman County is continuing. The incident resulted in the trooper being wounded and the death of a male. The following information is approved for release by investigators and Sherman County District Attorney's Office:
* The involved officer is Trooper MATTHEW ZISTEL, age 26, assigned in the Patrol Services Division at The Dalles Area Command office. Trooper ZISTEL has been with OSP for five years and is married with no children. He was treated and released Thursday evening from Mid-Columbia Medical Center for a minor gunshot wound injury to his left side. Trooper ZISTEL has not authorized the release of his Department photograph.
* The deceased is identified as JOHN VAN ALLEN II, age 34. He has previous addresses in South Carolina and Pennsylvania, but was most recently residing in the Portland area. During the incident he was accompanied in the vehicle his three children; a 10-year old girl, and two boys ages 13 and 15. They were placed in Department of Human Services' custody last night and their names are not being released.
* An autopsy completed Friday morning at the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office concluded ALLEN died from a single gunshot wound to the chest. No other injuries noted. Preliminary investigation indicates ALLEN was shot by the trooper during the exchange of gunfire.
* The trooper was working construction zone traffic safety overtime enforcement when he stopped the vehicle for a speeding violation. During the traffic stop, ALLEN and the trooper fired more than one round from their handguns. Total number of rounds fired is not being released at this time due to pending interview and investigation review by the District Attorney.
* The multi-agency investigating team is comprised of personnel from OSP Criminal Investigations Division, Sherman County Sheriff's Office, Wasco County Sheriff's Office, and The Dalles Police Department.
* Pursuant to the Sherman County Use of Deadly Force Investigation Guidelines, the District Attorney has the sole statutory and constitutional authority to make a decision on whether to present this to a Grand Jury. After a review of the information and evidence, and after consulting with investigators, the District Attorney shall make such decision. If the District Attorney decides to present a case to the Grand Jury, the District Attorney shall promptly notify the involved law enforcement agency, involved officer, and, when appropriate, the public.
* Officer-involved shootings can be complex. A video produced by the Lane County District Attorney's Office may help the public understand who these investigations are conducted. The video can be viewed at http://bit/ly/q0V69v.
Previously released information included:
On August 29, 2013 at approximately 12:52 p.m., an OSP trooper working overtime traffic enforcement stopped a passenger car displaying Oregon license plates eastbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 106 for a traffic violation. As the trooper exited the patrol car, the male driver of the vehicle got out and shot at the trooper who returned fire. About one minute after the stop, the trooper radioed to dispatch that he was shot after the vehicle drove away eastbound.
Back up officers from multiple law enforcement agencies from Oregon and Washington responded to the scene. OSP troopers who headed eastbound to locate the involved vehicle saw it stopped on the right eastbound shoulder about a half mile from the traffic stop scene.
When officers were able to safely check the vehicle they found the male driver slumped over the steering wheel. They pulled him out of the vehicle onto the roadway and attempted to revive him. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Three juvenile-age occupants in the vehicle were not injured. They were transported to The Dalles for interviews with investigators.
The injured trooper was transported to Mid-Columbia Medical Center for treatment of a gunshot wound to his side.
Pursuant to Senate Bill 111 - Use of Deadly Force investigations - a multi-agency investigation coordinated by the Sherman County District Attorney is ongoing. OSP Criminal Investigations Division and the Forensic Services Division are assisting.
Responding agencies to this incident included OSP, Sherman County Sheriff's Office, Wasco County Sheriff's Office, Klickitat County, Washington Sheriff's Office, Gilliam County Sheriff's Office, Hood River County Sheriff's Office, The Dalles Police Department, Hood River Police Department, Hermiston Police Department, Sherman County District Attorney's Office and Oregon Department of Transportation.
Both east and westbound lanes were closed for several hours resulting extensive delays. The westbound lanes were open about 6:20 p.m. and one eastbound lane opened shortly thereafter.
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