KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — The deputies involved in a shooting that left a 33-year-old Beatty man dead on December 29 have been cleared of any wrongdoing by a grand jury, according to a statement released on Tuesday by Klamath County District Attorney Eve Costello.
The grand jury saw the results of an Oregon State Police investigation into the shooting, plus testimony from the deputies on the scene and a Crisis Intervention team member from Klamath Basin Behavioral Health who was also there at the time of the incident.
Deputies Leach and McAdams were the two members of the Klamath County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) directly involved in the shooting.
According to Costello, 911 dispatch received a call from Mark Farell's mother on December 29, indicating that the 33-year-old had attacked her and she was "in fear for her life."
"Klamath County Sheriff's office responded to the scene with information in CAD notes indicating the residence, in particular Mark Farrell, created an officer safety risk and had mental health issues," Costello said.
Farrell's parents reportedly told the deputies that their son had threatened to kill his mother while physically attacking her.
Farrell himself retreated into his home on the property and barricaded himself inside, telling deputies that they would "have to kill him in order to arrest him." Deputies told Farrell's parents to leave for their own safety, according to Costello.
KCSO called in the Crisis Intervention counselor from Klamath Basin Behavioral Health. Costello said that the counselor tried to speak with Farrell, but he refused to respond.
"Shortly thereafter, Mark Farrell exited the back door of his home, having spotted Deputy Leach at the corner of the garage," Costello said.
Farrell advanced on Deputy Leach with a knife in hand, yelling "I see you pig," and "Come and get me pig," according to the DA's narrative of events. Although Leach gave Farrell commands to drop the knife and began backing away, Farrell broke into a run towards him.
"Deputy McAdams had run to the area upon hearing Deputy Leach's increasingly emotive commands for Mr. Farrell to drop the knife. Both deputies fired on Mr. Farrell," Costello said.
Farrell was pronounced dead at the scene. He had a catalogued history of mental health struggles, and investigators later found that he had not been taking medication "for some time" — apparently finding 1900 unused tablets in his home.
"Mr. Farrell had talked about suicide by cop many times prior to this incident," Costello said. "The tragedy of untreated mental health issues creates significant collateral damage...[the DA's office] extends its sympathy to the Farrell family and to the involved Deputies."