By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Officer shoots and kills man in Southwest McMinnville

Rusty Rae/News-Register##An investigator works at the scene of the officer-involved shooting in McMinnville Tuesday afternoon.
Rusty Rae/News-Register##An investigator works at the scene of the officer-involved shooting in McMinnville Tuesday afternoon.
Rusty Rae/News-Register##Yamhill County District Attorney Brad Berry (in white shirt) responded to the site of the shooting.
Rusty Rae/News-Register##Yamhill County District Attorney Brad Berry (in white shirt) responded to the site of the shooting.
Rusty Rae/News-Register##The investigation included marking a specific area in the parking lot where the officer-involved shooting took place and the sharing of information among law enforcement personnel. The Oregon State Police are now leading the investigation.
Rusty Rae/News-Register##The investigation included marking a specific area in the parking lot where the officer-involved shooting took place and the sharing of information among law enforcement personnel. The Oregon State Police are now leading the investigation.
Rusty Rae/News-Register##
Rusty Rae/News-Register##
Rusty Rae/News-Register##
Rusty Rae/News-Register##

 

[Updated 8/25 9 p.m.]

A 69-year-old man was shot and killed by a McMinnville police officer Tuesday afternoon at a business complex on the Southwest side of town.

He was identified as Laurence Montgomery Dickson, according to the Oregon State Police.

Yamhill County District Attorney Brad Berry requested that the OSP investigate the incident.

The News-Register asked both OSP and Berry if Dickson was armed. OSP did not respond by print deadline; Berry said Thursday afternoon he was in meetings all day and “can’t really address that at this time.”

According to an OSP preliminary report, McMinnville officers responded shortly after 2 p.m. to an apartment building on Southwest Barbara Street, in the area of Second Street and Hill Road, to investigate a report of a suicidal male at that location.

When they arrived, the male exited the apartment building and confronted officers, OSP reported. At least one round was fired by officers, striking the individual. Medical aid was performed at the scene, but Dickson was pronounced dead.

Two McMinnville officers have been placed on administrative leave. They were not identified.

In addition to investigators from the McMinnville Police, those from Newberg-Dundee and Yamhill Police, as well as the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office, also responded.

The OSP said the investigation remains active and no additional information will be released at this time.

A witness to the incident, who spoke only on condition of remaining anonymous, told the News-Register she saw a McMinnville Police patrol car pull up to the shooting location. Looking outside through windows from where she was working, she saw an officer get out, take cover behind his vehicle, “pull out” his weapon and fire one shot.

“I could not see what he was shooting at or anything like that,” she said.

Witnessing the incident, she said, was a shock.

She and others who were together at the time sheltered in place and looked after one other.

Berry, who responded to the scene, said once the entire and thorough investigation is completed by all the agencies and individuals involved, the investigatory materials will be forwarded to him for review.

“My role will include determining what occurred and make findings that what occurred was not criminal (justified or suicidal), or was possibly criminal requiring further review by a grand jury,” he said.

Should the facts remain unclear, a grand jury can be used as an investigative body, allowing his office to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses, acquire relevant documents or other information, and put the issue before them (the grand jury) for a determination after educating them on the laws related to use of force, according to Berry.

He said he “absolutely” will release his findings and a final decision to the public.

The last fatal officer-involved shooting in Yamhill County occurred Saturday, July 7, 2018, when Sheriff’s Office Capt. Sam Elliott and deputy Stephanie Sulak, who no longer works for the agency, fired their weapons during a confrontation with 27-year-old Kelly Sutton Jr. of Amity.

He was struck multiple times and died at the scene on Jellison Avenue, just south of Rice Lane on the northeast side of the city.

Elliott and Sulak were justified in fatally shooting Sutton, Berry announced three weeks following the incident.

Sheriff Tim Svenson later determined the pair followed agency policies related to the use of force and deadly force when they fired their duty weapons.

Berry’s request to have OSP investigate is pursuant to Yamhill County’s Senate Bill 111 protocols. The bill, passed in 2007, establishes procedures for law enforcement agencies to follow in dealing with use of deadly physical force.

 

Comments

JWC

I see that the marksmanship of the MacMiniville police department has improved since the Cashman incident.

bonnybedlam

I'll never understand these incidents. Calling the police on a suicidal person is questionable at best, but when the police respond by killing that person, it makes no sense. If they're just going to shoot the guy anyway, why not leave him to his business? If the goal is to keep him alive, maybe don't go straight for the gun?

GRM

Same questions here. Very irritating. Hopefully the NR will keep us updated

JWC

very often suicidal people choose to kill other people as well as themselves. Many mass shooters are suicidal. Cashman was probably suicidal. taking out a potential shooting a potential mass shooter is infinately preferable to cowering in the hallway while they wait for the shooting to stop.

maddiesdaddy

So bonnybedlam calling the police on a suicidal individual is questionable? Perhaps he was threatening someone else in addition to himself?
I would never want to be a Police Officer in today’s world. Too many people who jump to conclusions & assume all the Police want to do is take someone’s life. None of us were there or “witnessed” the incident so yeah how about we all wait for all the complete details of the incident.

randt

Lots of people are against the defund police, but having a mental health team responding to an issue like this is not only less expensive it also stops suicide by police.

tagup

I guess the missing piece of the article is if the perp had a weapon?.... kind of a key fact in making a determination about the shooting....

JWC

TAGUP
Exactly!
Not enough has been reported to really form an opinion. However; the account by the witness describing the very calm, disciplined behavior of the officer supports the presumption of an armed suspect who was not doing a Clevon Little impersonation.

just FYI, unless the MacMinniville PD has installed armored panels in their cars, taking cover behind the door is pointless. It will not even stop "harmless buckshot."

Don Dix

Risking the lives of a mental health team wouldn't be wise. Incidents involving firearms require police presence, except, of course, in Portland.


Hibb

Where was the Crisis Response team? Why was there no mention of a Mental Health person on the scene? Did the policemen identify themselves or just get out of the car, take aim and deliver the lethal round? So many questions that hopefully OSP will be able to answer....

Roger

It's pretty sorry police work when they can't even figure out if the dead man had a weapon.

tagup

I’m sure the police know if Mr Dickson had a weapon, but it seems odd that they didn’t share that information. If he didn’t have a gun....that would be problematic.

JWC

TAGUP:

The subject might have had a weapon other than a gun such as a knife or club. He might have been strangling someone as was the case in the Amity shooting. More people are strangled to death than are killed with those evil "assault rifles."

Alternatively; the subject might have been armed with a politically correct, President Biden approved, 12 gauge shotgun. Certain attorneys will argue that a 12 gauge shotgun is "small caliber (seventy-three caliber as opposed to an evil AR-15 which is twenty-two caliber). Attorneys will argue that a shotgun isn't a lethal weapon as long as it is loaded with "harmless buckshot" or birdshot rather than slugs. Never mind the fact that a member of the Washington County Sheriffs Office Tactical Negotiation Team that intervened in the Cashman rampage was nearly killed up at Hagg Lake with an even smaller caliber shotgun loaded with birdshot. Judge Ladd Wiles and a jury of MacMinniville citizens will demand to know exactly what type of amunitiion a sibject's shotgun was loaded with before they could decide if the use of deadly force was warrented.

tagup

Sounds like you have an ax to grind... but not sure how it relates to this story.
If Dickson was carrying a knife or club, I think it’s unlikely the officer would have needed to take cover and fire from behind the car.

JWC

A perusal of the Oregon Courts website reveals a criminal history that is brief and modest. Methamphetimine possession, menacing and failure to appear. Good research News Register staff.

Jean

He called the police on himself. He was suicidal....they came and asked him to come outside and then he pointed a weapon at them and refused commands to drop it. The weapon was pellet pistol that looked exactly like a real gun. The cops are not at fault here.

tagup

I agree Jean....Mr Dickson got exactly what he wanted....suicide by cop.....makes one wonder if a mental health team might have changed the outcome.

TTT

Thank you Officer Schwartz for your service to our community. We are sorry you had to make this choice and fully support you.