Saturday, August 31, 2013
The investigation continues in an officer-involved shooting Thursday afternoon along Interstate 84 east of Biggs Junction in Sherman County. The incident resulted in 26-year-old Oregon State Police trooper Matthew Zistel being wounded and the death of the male suspect, 34-year-old John Van Allen II.
The following information was approved for release Friday by investigators and Sherman County District Attorney's Office: The involved officer is Trooper Matthew Zistel, age 26, assigned in the Patrol Services Division at The Dalles Area Command office. Trooper Zistel has been with OSP for five years and is married with no children. He was treated and released Thursday evening from Mid-Columbia Medical Center for a minor gunshot wound to his left side.
Van Allen II has previous addresses in South Carolina and Pennsylvania, but was most recently residing in the Portland area. During the incident he was accompanied in the vehicle by his three children; a 10-year old girl, and two boys ages 13 and 15. They were placed in Department of Human Services' custody last night and their names are not being released. An autopsy completed Friday morning at the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office concluded Allen died from a single gunshot wound to the chest. No other injuries were noted. Preliminary investigation indicates Allen was shot by the trooper during the exchange of gunfire. Trooper Zistel was working construction zone traffic safety overtime enforcement when he stopped the vehicle for a speeding violation. As the trooper exited the patrol car, Van Allen reportedly got out and shot at the trooper who returned fire. About one minute after the stop, the trooper radioed to dispatch that he was shot after the vehicle drove away eastbound.
Back-up officers from multiple law enforcement agencies from Oregon and Washington responded to the scene. OSP troopers who headed eastbound to locate the involved vehicle saw it stopped on the right eastbound shoulder about a half mile from the traffic stop scene. When officers were able to safely check the vehicle they found the male driver slumped over the steering wheel. They pulled him out of the vehicle onto the roadway and attempted to revive him. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The three other occupants in the vehicle were not injured and were transported to The Dalles for interviews with investigators. Trooper Zistel was transported to Mid-Columbia Medical Center for treatment of what was called a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his side.
Responding agencies to the incident included OSP, Sherman County Sheriff's Office, Wasco County Sheriff's Office, Klickitat County, Washington Sheriff's Office, Gilliam County Sheriff's Office, Hood River County Sheriff's Office, The Dalles Police Department, Hood River Police Department, Hermiston Police Department, Sherman County District Attorney's Office and Oregon Department of Transportation.
Both east and westbound lanes were closed for several hours resulting extensive delays. The westbound lanes were open about 6:20 p.m. and one eastbound lane opened shortly thereafter.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge