By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Amity resident shot and killed by deputies

UPDATED: 10 p.m., 7/9/18

AMITY — A 27-year-old Amity resident was shot and killed during a confrontation with Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office deputies early Saturday morning.

Kelly Kenneth Sutton Jr. died at the scene, according to Capt. Jeff Kosmicki of the Newberg-Dundee Police Department, which is overseeing the investigation into what led to the shooting.

The deputies who fired on Sutton were identified by Kosmicki as Sgt. Sam Elliott, a 17-year veteran of law enforcement, and deputy Stephanie Sulak, who has been employed for 15 months. Both have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard protocol.

Kosmicki gave this account of the incident:

Shortly before 5:30 a.m., the Yamhill Communications Agency received a 911 call from an unidentified Amity resident who reported waking up and finding an unknown male in the bedroom of the home on the north side of town.

The caller told the dispatcher the individual appeared to be “high on drugs or intoxicated.” Moments later, the caller said the suspect had left the residence.
Chief Chris Bolek, Sgt. James Clark and six reserves comprise the Amity Police Department. Bolek lives in Newberg and Clark in Amity.

However, no Amity personnel was on official duty at that time, so the sheriff’s office responded to the call.

Within about seven minutes, a deputy told a dispatcher a male matching the description of the suspect had been located on Rice Lane near Jellison Avenue, about three blocks from where the original call was placed. The elementary school is on Rice Lane.

Within one minute of contact being made with the suspect, deputies informed YCOM that shots had been fired, and additional units were needed.

McMinnville Police Department officers responded as did medical personnel. A Life Flight helicopter was placed on standby. Sutton was pronounced dead at the scene.

The county’s Major Crime Response Team was organized, supervised by District Attorney Brad Berry. The sheriff’s office, Amity, McMinnville and Newberg-Dundee police and the Oregon State Police make up the team charged with determining what preceded the shooting.

Berry said he expects to eventually release his report related to the shooting and make a determination whether or not action on the part of Elliott and Sulak was justified.

“I’ve always tried to give as much detail as I can, to fully inform the community about what happened,” Berry said.

Elliott and Sulak will have counseling available to them, Capt. Chris Ray of the sheriff’s office said.

“It’s a statutory requirement that they be provided counseling as part of an officer involved shooting,” he said.

Senate Bill 111, enacted in 2007, required the creation of local, comprehensive guidelines to address the use of deadly force by law enforcement personnel.

Sutton was familiar to local agencies. He was charged by the sheriff’s office less than a month ago with one count each of first-degree burglary, second-degree theft, third-degree robbery, harassment and unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, according to court records.

The burglary charge is a Class A felony and the robbery charge a Class C felony. The other charges are Class A and B misdemeanors.

The sheriff’s office gave this account in a probable cause affidavit:

About 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 11, a deputy was dispatched to a burglary in progress at a residence off Highway 99W between Amity and McMinnville.

The victim reported an unknown male, later identified as Sutton, was in his house. Sutton shoved the victim into a wall, fled the house and was later apprehended.

The victim said he found his unlocked pickup had been rummaged through and he believed Sutton used the garage door opener located in the pickup to open the garage door to enter the house.

Sutton should have been wearing a long-sleeve Carhartt shirt and an Oregon State University jacket belonging to the victim, he said. The items were worth an estimated $100. A flashlight was also located on Sutton when he was taken into custody.

He admitted to being in the pickup, opening the garage door and entering the house, taking the items of clothing and grabbing the victim.

Sutton’s bail was originally set at $42,500. He was granted a conditional release, and ordered to have no contact with the victim.

His next court appearance was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Thursday, July 26.

Sutton faced sentencing on two separate cases early last month. He was convicted of one count each of resisting arrest, a Class A misdemeanor, and harassment, a Class B misdemeanor, in one case, according to court records. He was sentenced to five days in jail followed by 24 months on probation.

He was convicted of one count of unlawful entry into a motor vehicle in the other case, and sentenced to 18 months probation and ordered to perform 80 hours of community service.

In March of this year, he was charged with driving while revoked or suspended. He failed to appear for the court date.



This makes me sad. Another life lost to drugs and alcohol. Prayers to his loving family.


So true Buford. Everyone loses in this situation. The young man lost his life. His family lost their son and brother. The deputy sheriff that killed him will likely be psychologically devastated for the rest of his/her life. It's just a real sad deal all around. My heart goes out to all involved and I pray that they will eventually find peace and comfort.


I know his parents, really nice people. This is so, so sad, so unnecessary. RIP Kelly jr.

Mac Native 66

Law enforcement shootings are always justified no matter how it is viewed. They always get away with it. So sad to hear that another life is taken.


Why don't you check his court records...

Bill B

"Law enforcement shootings are always justified no matter how it is viewed. They always get away with it" What a ludicrous thing to say!


What do his court records have to do with anything? Are we foregoing our justice system now and allowing police officers to be judge, jury and executioner? We don't know all the facts yet so I think it is too early to make a judgement in this case.


Court records reflect a history of previous behavior.
This person acted out of control for years. His was never going to be a happy ending.


All I'm saying is that police officers don't get to kill people because they have a criminal record. We have a criminal justice system for that. Justice rendered after the process plays out...regardless. We might think that someone deserves "street justice" via law enforcement, but that isn't how we do things....thank goodness!

Bill B

Mudstump says; "All I'm saying is that police officers don't get to kill people because they have a criminal record." I really hope that she misspoke when she said get to kill. No police officer wants to kill. Really!


Bill B - You need to read everything I said. You missed the point entirely.

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