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Jackson County District Attorney's Initial Information Release Regarding Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting
05/03/2010
Mark Huddleston, District Attorney
Jackson County District Attorney's Office
(541) 774-8181

The following is a Jackson County District Attorney's Office news release:
 
Jackson County District Attorney Mark Huddleston released the following information Monday afternoon, May 3rd, in connection with the officer-involved shooting that occurred in Eagle Point during the late evening hours of April 30, 2010.
 
At 9:47 p.m. on April 30th, Eagle Point Police Department Acting Chief Jim Gray was dispatched to 139 North Royal Avenue for a reported menacing with a handgun.  The initial complainant, who was anonymous, also stated a shot had been fired and the suspect was Adam Wehinger.  This subject was later identified as Adam Elman Wehinger, age 34.
 
While enroute to the call, additional information was received by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office dispatch that Wehinger had fired a shot in the immediate presence of a neighbor.
 
On arrival at the scene, Acting Chief Gray contacted Adam Wehinger, who was at the front door of 139 North Royal Avenue, holding a handgun.  Gray attempted to speak with Wehinger, but he went back into the apartment.  Acting Chief Gray contacted the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, and their SWAT team was activated to respond to the scene.  During this time attempts were made to make contact with Adam Wehinger via his cell phone, however he did not answer.
 
Jackson County Sheriff's Office SWAT members, along with officers from Oregon State Police, arrived at the scene and began to take up positions around the apartment.  At 10:37 p.m., officers positioned around the apartment reported hearing gunshots being fired inside the residence.  As additional Jackson County Sheriff's Office SWAT team members were responding, Wehinger came to the front door.
 
At 11:03 p.m., Adam Wehinger opened the front door holding a handgun.  Wehinger came out of the apartment onto the front porch and pointed the handgun at deputies and officers that were in view.  He had earlier made statements to the effect that he wanted officers to kill him.  Jackson County Sheriff's Office Detective Jim Biddle and Oregon State Police Trooper Tyler Lee fired at Wehinger, who died as a result of the gunshot wounds he received.  Wehinger's Colt New Frontier SAA .44 caliber handgun was recovered at the scene.
 
The scene was secured at the Jackson County Major Assault and Death Investigation Unit was activated to take over the investigation, pursuant to interagency protocols and requirements of Senate Bill 111 (Oregon laws, 2007).  The interagency investigation is still underway and Medford Police Department Detective Justin Ivens has been designated as lead detective.  An autopsy was scheduled for today.
 
A search warrant was drafted on May 1st which authorized a search of 139 North Royal Avenue.  Three bullet holes were found in an upstairs window screen of the residence.  The window faces the parking lot where officers had taken up defensive positions.  Although forensic testing has not yet been conducted, it appears that these holes represent shots that Wehinger fired from inside the residence.
 
Huddleston said that this case would be presented to a grand jury once the investigation has been completed.  The interagency protocols adopted pursuant to Senate Bill 111 require that a grand jury make the final determination as to whether the officers' use of force was justified under Oregon law.  Huddleston said that it may take several weeks for the investigation to be completed, the reports written, and the matter scheduled for grand jury presentation.
 
Huddleston indicated that both officers have been placed on paid leave pending the results of the investigation.  He indicated that this is standard practice for officers involved in shooting situations which result in death or injury.  The officers were identified as:
  • Detective Jim Biddle, age 39, who has been with Jackson County Sheriff's Office since 2001
  • Trooper Tyler Lee, age 31, who been with Oregon State Police for five years and is assigned at the Central Point Area Command office