The Sherman County District Attorney has completed his review of the shooting death of John Van Allen II.
DA Wade M. McLeod concludes that Oregon State Police Trooper Matt Zistel was justified in shooting Van Allen, saying it was in self-defense. Zistel said Van Allen refused his commands and started shooting at him during a traffic stop.
Van Allen a former soldier, was reportedly on his way to South Carolina to live with family. His three children were in a car close to the scene. Van Allen had no arrest record and had served in the military.
Read The Skanner News story about the shooting
Here's the full press release.
Sherman County District Attorney Press Release
Wade M. McLeod, the Sherman County District Attorney, announced today that he has concluded his review of the officer-involved shooting which occurred on August 29, 2013 resulting in the death of John Van Allen II (DOB: 02/18/1979).
A full investigation of the incident was conducted by law enforcement agencies from the Sherman County Sheriff's Office, Oregon State Police, City of The Dalles Police Department, Wasco County Sheriff's Office as well as the Oregon Department of Justice and the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office.
On August 29, 2013 at approximately 12:50PM, Oregon State Police Trooper Matt Zistel initiated a traffic stop on I-84 eastbound near milepost 105.5. Trooper Zistel stopped the Cadillac Catera for traveling at 76MPH in a construction zone. The suspect vehicle pulled to the side of the road and Trooper Zistel pulled in behind the suspect vehicle. Before Trooper Zistel could bring his patrol vehicle to a complete stop, the driver of the suspect vehicle, John Van Allen II exited his vehicle. While standing next to the driver's door of his vehicle, John Van Allen II took an aggressive stance and hid his right hand behind his back. John Van Allen II was wearing camouflaged military fatigues. Trooper Zistel explained the reason for the stop and repeatedly asked John Van Allen II to get back into his vehicle. John Van Allen II refused Trooper Zistel's requests and began aggressively approaching the officer. John Van Allen II quickly closed the distance between himself and Trooper Zistel. While continuing to advance on Trooper Zistel, John Van Allen II pulled a gun from his rear waistband, took a combat shooting stance and began firing at Trooper Zistel. Trooper Zistel was struck by a bullet in the left side. Trooper Zistel fired at John Van Allen II, striking John Van Allen II in the right side of the chest. John Van Allen II continued to stalk Trooper Zistel before retreating to his vehicle and leaving the scene. John Van Allen II and with his three children were located in his vehicle approximately one-half mile from the location of the shooting. The suspect vehicle was parked on the shoulder of I-84 eastbound. John Van Allen II was deceased. The three minor children were not harmed.
The District Attorney is charged with reviewing incidents where deadly physical force is used by the police and must determine if the use of deadly physical force was consistent with Oregon law. The Sherman County District Attorney finds that Trooper Mathew Zistel was justified in using deadly physical force in this incident. At the time Trooper Zistel decided to employ deadly physical force, it was reasonable for him to believe that his life was endangered. Trooper Zistel acted in self defense. Given the overwhelming evidence supporting Trooper Zistel's decision to employ deadly physical force, the District Attorney will not present this case to the Grand Jury.
District Attorney McLeod would like to thank all the law enforcement agencies and emergency service entities that responded to this incident and further thank all the agencies involved for a thorough and detailed investigation of this event.