Police: Man Killed in Klamath Officer-Involved Shooting Had a Gun

An officer-involved shooting and manhunt on October 5 caused Chiloquin schools to go on lockdown. Now Klamath County says that the officers that shot and killed the suspect have been cleared in an independent investigation.

Posted: Nov 20, 2018 10:26 AM
Updated: Nov 20, 2018 10:39 AM

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. —

UPDATE: A man shot and killed by Klamath Police officers in early October appeared to be reaching for a firearm, according a statement released today by the Klamath Falls Police Department (KFPD). The statement fleshes out what has so far been a story lacking in significant detail regarding the lead-up to the shooting of 48-year-old Phillip Moskios Jr.

The beginning of KFPD's statement agrees with previous releases from authorities — that Moskios was stopped in his vehicle near Modoc Point as part of a drug investigation. According to KFPD, Moskios had just been released after serving 16 years in prison for weapon and drug offenses and was on probation.

From the beginning, KFPD notes that officers believed Moskios to be armed. During the traffic stop, Moskios reportedly assaulted one of the officers and fled on foot. He then apparently ran toward several officers positioned "a short distance from the initial stop and ran directly at one of the officers."

What happened next is described as follows:

"Mr. Moskios intentionally made movements leading the officers to believe he was retrieving a gun to use against the officers. Two officers fired at Mr. Moskios resulting in his death. Investigators later found Mr. Moskios was in possession of a handgun, as well as a substantial amount of methamphetamine and cash that he left in his vehicle as he fled."

The handgun, drugs and cash were all recovered from Moskios' vehicle and he did not have a gun on his person at the time of the altercation and shooting, KFPD clarified.

As the previous statement from the Klamath County DA's office indicated, an investigation cleared the officers involved of criminal wrongdoing. KFPD identified their officer as Detective Corporal Christopher Zupan:

"Corporal Christopher Zupan is a veteran officer with over 20 years law enforcement experience and has an exemplary service record to the citizens of Klamath Falls. After being placed on administrative leave (per officer involved shooting policy and best practices), Corporal Zupan has returned to full-duty based upon the investigative findings."

(Updated 11/20/18 at 10:25 a.m.)


INITIAL REPORT: Law enforcement officers involved in the shooting death of a man near Modoc Point in Klamath County on October 5 will not be prosecuted following an investigation, the Klamath County District Attorney's office said on Monday.

The DA's office said at the time that 48-year-old Phillip Moskios Jr. was shot and killed by officers after a physical altercation during a traffic stop that day. Moskios reportedly fled the scene after assaulting an officer, and would later be confronted by Klamath Falls Police officers and a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent, leading to the shooting.

A statement issued by the DA's office gave little detail on the events that immediately precipitated the shooting — whether Moskios was armed and why the officers opened fire, or even which officer(s) fired the shot(s).

Nevertheless, an independent investigation decided against any criminal charges against the involved officers, according to the DA's office.

"As is standard procedure, an agency not involved in the incident was appointed to lead the ensuing investigation; in this case that was the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office. Due to the involvement of a local office and a federal agency, Klamath County District Attorney Eve Costello enlisted the assistance of the Oregon Department of Justice to review the investigation," the DA's office said in a statement.

The investigation reportedly included interviews with the involved officers, interviews with Moskios' family, friends and coworkers, and the examination of diagrams and videos from the scene, as well as the medical examiner's records.

After evaluating the evidence, the Department of Justice decided that "criminal prosecution of the involved officers is not warranted,"  according to the DA's office.

"The District Attorney’s office appreciates the assistance of the Department of Justice in conducting the review, and in preserving public trust in the neutrality of the investigation that was necessitated by these matters," the DA's office said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 309841

Reported Deaths: 3569
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah50840642
Washington34683272
Marion32181388
Clackamas26315270
Lane23632246
Jackson20753255
Deschutes16401100
Umatilla12552125
Douglas10599185
Linn1030285
Josephine8536163
Yamhill737299
Klamath637891
Polk617770
Malheur475867
Benton454027
Coos406469
Columbia320237
Jefferson310446
Lincoln272829
Union266036
Wasco236739
Crook212137
Clatsop210225
Tillamook179623
Baker171920
Morrow166621
Curry166317
Hood River161635
Harney77115
Grant7538
Lake6608
Wallowa50111
Gilliam1364
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4636268

Reported Deaths: 67966
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144412725849
Riverside3575584802
San Diego3492274006
San Bernardino3468955501
Orange3135295354
Sacramento1498662070
Santa Clara1403871841
Fresno1356471889
Kern1343971515
Alameda1160681320
Ventura976231120
San Joaquin971621615
Contra Costa95595924
Stanislaus800341229
Tulare72812896
San Mateo52172607
San Francisco51808605
Monterey49445565
Solano44061312
Santa Barbara43065500
Sonoma39376376
Merced39279535
Placer36390364
Imperial34235755
Kings30038285
San Luis Obispo28273313
Madera21672258
Butte21205230
Shasta20647276
Santa Cruz20134211
Yolo19118239
Marin17080242
El Dorado15964127
Sutter13055153
Napa1224695
Yuba923461
Nevada845685
Humboldt826284
Tehama821184
San Benito708567
Mendocino681971
Lassen636827
Tuolumne612593
Lake601087
Amador489759
Glenn396430
Siskiyou388841
Calaveras339366
Del Norte334234
Colusa290718
Inyo166239
Mono14935
Plumas12336
Mariposa96712
Trinity71910
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1180
Alpine1000
Out of CA00
Medford
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 50°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 64°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 50°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 50°
Klamath Falls
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 44°
Dry and mild Monday with good air quality
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events