EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Lane County District Attorney Patty Perlow announced Friday that a Eugene police officer will not face criminal charges for fatally shooting a man during a physical altercation that she said left the officer “fighting for his life.”
The Register-Guard reports Officer Samuel Tykol shot Eliborio Rodrigues Jr., 40, on Nov. 30 after Rodrigues repeatedly punched Tykol and used the officer’s Taser against him, Perlow said.
A preliminary drug screen later identified methamphetamine, amphetamine, opioids and marijuana in his system, the criminal investigation found.
The officer was driving on a Eugene street at about 12:30 a.m. when he observed Rodrigues walking in the road near the Delta Oaks Shopping Center. It is a violation of city code to walk in the street within Eugene’s city limits unless a resident is crossing it.
Tykol walked up to Rodrigues after parking his patrol vehicle.
Rodrigues was putting an empty plastic water bottle from a recycling bin into a plastic bag when Tykol walked up, according to Tykol’s body camera footage that the district attorney’s office released.
The encounter escalated after Rodrigues refused to respond to Tykol’s questions or comply with his commands, eventually leading to a two-minute fight that ended with the shooting. Rodrigues died at the scene.