MEDFORD, Ore. — At a press conference on Monday morning, the Medford Police Chief Scott Clausen identified the man shot in Sunday's officer-involved shooting as 55-year-old Steven C. Myers.
Chief Clausen said that the officer shot Myers in the torso, although the number of shots fired remains unclear. Myers remains in stable condition at the hospital after undergoing surgery.
According to Medford Police statements, officers responded to Myers' home at 162 Seroba Circle after a concerned family member called dispatch, saying that Myers wanted to harm himself.
When the officers arrived at the scene, no one answered the door and Myers did not answer his cell phone. The officers then reported seeing a trail of blood toward the back of the house and decided to force entry. Firefighters helped police break open the door.
"Once the door was opened, officers could see the male standing inside, but they did not make entry," Medford Police said. "The officers remained outside as they attempted to communicate with the subject."
The agency said that all of the officers at the scene had been trained in Crisis Intervention.
Just after breaching the door, Medford Police said that Myers began walking toward the officers "with one hand behind his back," not responding to commands from the officers.
"The subject walked into the small backyard where the officers had backed up to a wood fence. The subject then suddenly produced a knife from the hand hidden behind his back, as he continued to advance on officers," the agency said.
"Almost simultaneously," two officers deployed their tasers, while one fired a gun. Myers reportedly dropped his knife and fell to the ground, wounded.
Firefighters rendered first aid to Myers and he was soon taken to Asante Regional Medical Center for surgery.
Medford Police said that a total of five officers were on the scene at the time of the shooting, and the three directly involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave, "per protocoal."
When asked about the combined and simultaneous use of tasers and a gun, Chief Clausen said that it was "pretty standard protocol" to have multiple stages of force available at an active scene. He later went on to say that using a firearm when confronted by a subject with a deadly weapon such as a knife was a typical response for an officer, particularly alone.
"It depends entirely upon the weapon," Chief Clausen said. "Obviously in a perfect world we would love to resolve everything with less-lethal . . . we don't recommend or even train to use a taser against somebody with a knife, however we had options there — we had enough people there to be able to try that option."
The case is still under investigation by the Major Assault and Death Investigation Unit (MADIU), led by Oregon State Police and assisted by the Jackson County District Attorney's Office. All three officers involved will remain on leave pending Grand Jury review.
Chief Clausen declined to identify any of the three officers who have been placed on leave, but did say that one of them was an instructor in Crisis Intervention.
(Edited 9/23/19 at 2:45 p.m. with the latest information and formatted for clarity.)
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