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Video captures deadly officer-involved shooting in Eugene

The Lane County District Attorney's office says an officer-involved shooting last week was justified.

Posted: Jan 24, 2018 3:24 PM
Updated: Jan 24, 2018 3:50 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The Lane County District Attorney has determined an officer-involved shooting in Eugene on Jan. 15 was justified, and she's released the video of the incident.

Patty Perlow said on Monday, Jan. 15, at approximately 4 p.m., deputies with the Lane County Sheriff's Office were notified of a suspicious vehicle at 559 Clairmont Drive.

She said when deputy Richard Smith, a three year veteran with the Lane County Sheriff's Office, arrived in the area about 45 minutes later, he saw the stolen vehicle in the driveway.

Perlow said both the driver, Robert Martinez Jr., and the passenger, Miles Smith, got out of the vehicle while deputy Smith was confirming the license plate. She said deputy Smith told both men to get back in the vehicle and then to get on the ground, but neither complied.

Perlow said deputy Smith pointed his taser at Martinez as Martinez walked toward the front door of the home. Deputy Smith warned Martinez he would be tased if he did not get on the ground. She said Martinez grabbed a semi-automatic handgun from his pocket.

Witness statements, including from Miles Smith, confirmed that deputy Smith warned Martinez he was going to use his taser. Miles Smith also said he believed Martinez was reaching for a gun.

Perlow said the investigation found deputy Smith deployed his taser but it didn't have any effect on Martinez. One probe hit his sweatshirt and the other did not make contact.

She said he then transitioned to his handgun and fired at Martinez until he went to the ground and was no longer an immediate threat. Deputy Smith said Martinez was raising his gun toward him when he shot him and Smith believed he would have been shot, had he not fired first.

Perlow said Miles Smith left the scene and it wasn't clear where he was. Responding officers from the Eugene Police Department took over providing care for Martinez until medics arrived and took Martinez to the hospital, where he died a short time later.

Perlow said during the entire incident, deputy Smith displayed a calm demeanor that can be attributed to his training and professionalism.

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