PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Clackamas County grand jury has found that a deputy’s fatal shooting of a man with a gun during a foot chase “was justified and lawful.”
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports county sheriff’s Deputy Casey Newton on June 7 fired five times at Jeremiah L. Wright, striking him in the torso, according to a statement issued by the Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office.
Wright, 44, turned toward the deputy and didn’t follow Newton’s orders to drop the gun, according to the statement.
The seven-member grand jury heard testimony this week and concluded Newton’s actions fell within state law, the prosecutor’s office said.
According to police, Wright was driving a stolen car when he encountered the deputy in Happy Valley. The District Attorney’s Office summary said Newton chased Wright until Wright went over a sidewalk and crashed. Wright then ran and was followed by Newton who saw that he had a gun and told him to drop it.
“Wright did not comply and continued to turn towards Deputy Newton. Deputy Newton, in fear for his life, fired,” the District Attorney’s Office said.
The District Attorney’s Office said Wright’s car contained illegal drugs and that investigators recovered a pistol near Wright’s body.
Michael Fuller, a Portland lawyer representing Wright’s wife Kayla Wright, questioned the thoroughness of the police investigation, saying Thursday he spoke with witnesses who said they were never interviewed by police.
“Whether it was a wrongful death still remains to be seen from our perspective.”