Tuesday, April 29, 2014
ATHENA — The Oregon State Police is investigating a fatal shooting by an Athena police officer who killed a suspect Monday involved in an earlier eluding incident.
Athena police Sgt. Erik Palmer shot and killed Tere David King, 55, of Athena on Monday at 7:20 a.m. on Pambrun Road just east of town, according to a news release from Umatilla County District Attorney Daniel Primus.
Primus said Palmer had spotted King’s vehicle and was going to arrest him for an eluding incident from Saturday.
Palmer was waiting for backup when King drove toward him to leave the scene. Palmer then disabled King’s vehicle by shooting the tires, Primus said.
After King’s vehicle was disabled, Palmer reported the suspect got out of his vehicle with a firearm, which is when the officer shot and killed him, according to Primus.
Details of the incident did not include whether King had pointed the firearm at Palmer or threatened him in any other way. An investigation is being led by Oregon State Police.
Monday’s shooting was Palmer’s third known use of deadly force with a firearm in the past six years and the second time the officer has killed a man in the line of duty during his law enforcement career.
According to articles from the East Oregonian, in 2008 Palmer shot and killed Deveron Schreiner, 38, of La Grande during an incident in Pendleton. Schreiner was reported to have been in a business with a semi-automatic handgun and threatening to kill himself.
Schreiner was reported to have pointed the weapon at officers when Palmer fired the shot that killed him.
A Umatilla County grand jury reported the fatal shooting was justified.
In 2011, Palmer, then a Pendleton police officer, was again cleared in the shooting of another suicidal suspect wielding a firearm.
A Pendleton Police Department release of the incident said Palmer shot Mark McMillan as Palmer approached the man’s pickup, which was parked near the Umatilla River.
As Palmer approached, McMillan reportedly pointed his handgun at him and Palmer fired multiple rounds at him.
McMillan was injured but did not die.
A Umatilla County grand jury again declared Palmer was justified in the use of deadly force.
Alfred Diaz can be reached at email@example.com or 526-8325.