Grand jury finds officer justified in shooting Klamath Falls man

Robert Faulkner was reportedly seeking 'suicide by cop,' and survived the shooting that resulted after an armed confrontation.

Posted: Dec 13, 2019 11:54 AM
Updated: Dec 13, 2019 4:24 PM

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — A Klamath Falls Police officer was legally justified in shooting a man reportedly seeking "suicide by cop" in November, a grand jury determined on Friday.

The shooting happened on November 12, when officers responded to a domestic disturbance call involving 34-year-old Robert Lee Faulkner. According to Klamath Falls Police, Faulkner appeared angry and armed when they found him hiding in a bush. One officer shot and wounded him in the encounter.

"Law enforcement routinely place their lives at risk when responding to volatile domestic disturbances," the grand jury's foreperson wrote in a statement. "Unfortunately, there are times when a suspects’ behaviors and interactions with law enforcement create circumstances where it is reasonable for an officer to believe their life and the lives of community members are in danger."

The grand jury's statement identified the officer who fired his weapon as Sergeant Maury Smith. The evidence revealed that Sgt. Smith found Faulkner in the bush, apparently holding a handgun.

"Sergeant Smith shouted directions at Faulkner to show his hands. Mr. Faulkner pointed a gun at Sergeant Smith. Sergeant Smith fired his service weapon injuring Mr. Faulkner," the foreperson wrote. "Law enforcement immediately rendered emergency medical services in a compassionate and professional manner. Mr. Faulkner was transferred to Emergency Medical Services and transported for medical care."

An investigation of the shooting later found that Faulkner's gun was an "airsoft or BB gun" modified to look like a true handgun. The jury found Sgt. Smith's perception that Faulkner was holding a real weapon "reasonable and rational under the circumstances."

"We regret the circumstances that forced Sergeant Smith into a decision law enforcement never wants to have to make. Mr. Faulkner is very fortunate to have survived. We hope he obtains the services he needs to address his mental health condition," the foreperson concluded.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314841

Reported Deaths: 3624
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah51325643
Washington35086277
Marion32748396
Clackamas26680275
Lane24145248
Jackson21050257
Deschutes16703103
Umatilla12736125
Douglas10795188
Linn1051487
Josephine8685169
Yamhill752099
Klamath651892
Polk629171
Malheur485567
Benton463728
Coos420669
Columbia325439
Jefferson315347
Lincoln277930
Union274838
Wasco242339
Crook213639
Clatsop213225
Tillamook182023
Baker176123
Morrow168621
Curry167817
Hood River163435
Harney82319
Grant7848
Lake6988
Wallowa50811
Gilliam1374
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4651497

Reported Deaths: 68087
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144634825870
Riverside3583834802
San Diego3502674021
San Bernardino3475745507
Orange3150815355
Sacramento1507202105
Santa Clara1407321841
Kern1362881521
Fresno1361631889
Alameda1164051330
Ventura978991120
San Joaquin975341615
Contra Costa95858924
Stanislaus808921235
Tulare73111896
San Mateo52311607
San Francisco52008605
Monterey49485565
Solano44247312
Santa Barbara43189500
Sonoma39476378
Merced39446536
Placer36612364
Imperial34285755
Kings30179285
San Luis Obispo28351313
Madera21749263
Butte21379231
Shasta20763279
Santa Cruz20176211
Yolo19192239
Marin17127242
El Dorado16037127
Sutter13122153
Napa1228795
Yuba928061
Nevada850185
Humboldt831988
Tehama827784
San Benito709567
Mendocino691176
Lassen637927
Tuolumne616993
Lake605887
Amador493059
Glenn399030
Siskiyou391541
Calaveras342766
Del Norte339034
Colusa291018
Inyo166739
Mono14935
Plumas12406
Mariposa100712
Trinity72610
Modoc6278
Unassigned2120
Sierra1980
Alpine1000
Out of CA00
Medford
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 58°
Brookings
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 69°
Crater Lake
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 58°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 58°
Klamath Falls
Clear
40° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 40°
Heating up again late week.
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events