KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — Just over a month after a deadly chase and shooting north of Klamath Falls, Oregon State Police has released video from the tense encounter that left one trooper injured, the suspect dead, and a child thankfully unharmed.
The incident began on Friday, April 10, when Sheriff's Office deputies went out to a reported domestic disturbance in Klamath Falls. A reportedly intoxicated man was trying to take his children.
When deputies arrived, the man was already gone. When dispatch put out a call to all agencies, they said that there was a 6-year-old boy in the suspect's car, and the man was believed to have an AK-47 style rifle.
OSP troopers caught up with the suspect and began to pursue near Biehn Street and Crater Lake Parkway, continuing north onto Highway 97. Deputies from the Sheriff's Office deployed a spike strip along the highway, bringing the man's vehicle to a stop on Wocus Road.
"The driver exited the vehicle and fired numerous shots at the officers. Law enforcement returned fire," the District Attorney's office said shortly after the shooting.
OSP trooper Kameron Gordon was injured in the shooting, and the suspect was declared dead at the scene. The 6-year-old boy was recovered from the suspect's vehicle alive and unhurt.
Now, Oregon State Police says that it looks forward to welcoming back the troopers involved — who were placed on administrative leave during the investigation — including Gordon.
“I don’t think I’m alone when I admit my heart skipped a beat when I first viewed this video,” said Oregon State Superintendent Travis Hampton. “I credit the professionalism and remarkable bravery of the Oregon State Police Troopers and Klamath County Deputy Sheriffs that brought this violent event to end.”
OSP thanked the Klamath Falls community for an outpouring of support, and particularly thanked the medical professionals who cared for Gordon.
"The OSP office in Klamath Falls typifies the dedication and professionalism exhibited by the men and women of the agency- sparsely assigned to communities all over Oregon," the agency said.
A letter from the grand jury assigned to review the shooting says that it determined the use of deadly force by an OSP trooper and KCSO deputy was justified.
According to the letter, the investigation found that suspect Matthew Goff had 10 fully-loaded magazines and more than 250 rounds of ammo in his vehicle, and had fired at least 36 rounds at officers before being struck by return fire.
"We regret the circumstances that forced Trooper Henrick and Deputy Gray into a decision law enforcement never wants to have to make and are thankful that all officers involved are safe," the grand jury's letter concludes.